Monday, June 30, 2008


I'm in Revision Purgatory right now with the contemporary romance I'm writing for Kensington Publishing. I love the story, but it's slowly killing me, which is the reason this post is so cranky.

I borrowed from Jennifer Cruisie's lingo and dubbed my first draft the Don't-Look-Down draft. This basically means you just write the story. You don't worry about typos or grammar, and you certainly don't worry about any of the Writing Rules - point of view, the five senses, showing vs. telling. You just write.

Which appears to be fine - until you come to the revision stage and realize what you have is Blue Ribbon Drivel. I'm confident the story will shine like fine jewelry by the time I have to hand it in to my editor. It's getting to that shine that I'm struggling with.

During the Don't-Look-Down draft, I focus on the action: who does what, where, when, why and how. While revising, I layer in the five senses - what the characters see, hear, smell, taste and feel - and I dig deeper for the emotions. I also focus on making my characters individuals rather than having them all sound and react alike. After all, these aren't meant to be Stepford Children.

I'm going to end this cranky post and get back to my revisions.

I hope everyone has a safe, happy and healthy Independence Week!



Rhonda McKnight said...

Hi Pat,

I attended a workshop last week done by Anna Destafano that said the exact same thing. Improv the first draft. I love rewriting, it's my favorite part, but I must admit, not looking down is scary to me. It took me a long time to pull together my first novel after I wrote it that way. I have to admit, I have to write a little cleaner to keep my sanity.

Good luck with it. Like you said, it'll be a diamond by the time editor gets it, but the work in the mine is pure torture.

patricia sargeant said...

Hi, Rhonda!

Thank you so much for your best wishes and encouragement. I appreciate it. Good luck with your manuscript, too. What's it about? Best!


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