Tag Archives: revision

Thursday Hint

What does Wickland Jacqueline’s Lincoln mean?

I’m using voice recognition software because my arm has been hurting a while. I injured myself helping someone here at home. (Rick Walton used Dragon when his Parkinson’s got bad.  Now I am a fan, not because it works really well — it is great– but because my pal used Dragon.)


when I said “wiggling and jiggling and slinking” this morning in my wrasseling book, Wickland Jacqueline’s Lincoln came out.

This hint is about revision. Don’t include it in your one hour of writing. I read a little bit of the previous day’s work before I start my next  one hour to get me back into the groove and the voice. But I don’t spend my one hour rewriting. That time is for new words.

A part of you will want to rewrite. I  get it. I want to also. But don’t. Save revision for when we all are done in just a few days.

Unless you have Wickland Jacqueline’s Lincoln. That you can rewrite.


Filed under Ann Dee, CLW, Kyra

Thank You!

Thanks for all the well wishes. We are so happy to have our little man here and he has gotten quite the welcome from his brothers. They are ever so happy to

1. shove a binky in his mouth

2. pull his bassinet around the house

3. sing him LOUDLY to sleep

4. hold him tightly and tell him stories.

We have officially survived the first two weeks and in all seriousness, we are full of joy. There is something very special about having a new babe in the house.

So there’s that. My fourth boy!

And then there’s other things. Like my book. Some of you may know, I’m about done with the revision phase of a book that has been a VERY LONG TIME coming. In fact, the night before I went to the hospital, my editor sent me an email with some scene changes, etc. and asked if I could get it back to her in the next few days.

I stared at the email and thought, I can’t do this. I can NOT do this.

I told Cam, I can’t do this.

He said, You don’t have to do this.

I said, Yeah. I don’t have to do this.

Then I sat there. And I said a prayer. Cam and I said a prayer.

Then I worked for three hours. I didn’t finish, but I got close.

In the morning, when we got to the hospital (leaving my kids with my sisters and father), I pulled out the laptop and handed it to Cam. For the next eight hours, while we waited for the baby to come, I dictated to Cam and he made changes for me in the manuscript. We went down the list, item by item until, a half hour before the arrival, we finally finished and Cam clicked send.

Here are some things I realized through this process:

1. I can do hard things.

2. This actually wasn’t as hard as I was making it in my head.

3. It took our minds off the long wait for baby to come.

4. My kids were in good hands with someone else. It was just me and Cam, hanging out in a room for hours. What better way to spend our time?

5. Writing is fun. Especially when you have someone willing to help you. We laughed a lot.

6. I felt tough even though it really wasn’t tough AT ALL! There weren’t huge changes. I’d done most of that earlier but there were enough minor changes for me to feel a little defeated the night before.

7. There’s no need to feel defeated.

8. I am SO GLAD I did it BEFORE the baby came rather than AFTER he came. I had forgotten how exhausted and achy and demanding being a new mom can be.

9. I love my husband.

10. I am glad I prayed.

So that’s my writing birth story. I could tell you other kinds of stories in relation to this epic thing called childbirth–like how I immediately put on my string bikini right after he was born because I was looking that good, or how I had forgotten about nursing and what that entails and how it made my bikini look so much better/scarier, or how this cute thing loves to blow out all his diapers and the boys think it’s pretty darn awesome and in a way, I do too–i could tell you stories like that but this is a writing blog so I’ll save you the details.

Thanks for all your love and support. xoxox


Filed under Uncategorized

Lance Larsen Tip #4: Revise yourself to Eloquence

I can’t sleep. It’s 4:19 am.

I think it’s because of the pounds of food I ate at the Olive Garden last night. Or the tight pants I sleep in. I can’t decide. At least I’ll get to watch the dangerous happenings in my neighborhood that occur at this time of night.

Now, for tip #4: Revise yourself to eloquence.

If you’ll remember, the last tip was to let the writing lead you. To let go of your grip on the narrative and allow it to breathe. Allow it to take you where it needs to go.

This tip is the opposite. You have to take back control (once the first draft is finished) and shape it into something beautiful.

Lance says: “Just as you must be willing to lower your standards, at first, and write sloppily and inventively, not knowing what you will produce, you must at a later stage step in and revise without mercy.”

You have to be ruthless. You have to be honest. You have to allow your critical eye (and other’s critical eye) to step in and push you to make the book the piece that it could be.

We’ve talked about this before. Every part of the writing process is a process. It takes time, patience and discipline.

I love revision. It is painful but it’s worth it.

One time an editor told me I needed to take out two characters. Two BIG characters. I was like, uh, say what? I need those people. But as I thought about it, and read and reread, I realized that they weren’t as integral to the story as I thought. Of course once I took them out, every other scene in the book needed to change. And I had no middle to my book. I basically had to rewrite the whole thing. I complained. I cried. I ate. But in the end, after hours of work, the book was better.

We should never ever shy away from revision. From knocking things about. From working our bums off.

Annie Dillard said:

At its best, the sensation of writing is that of any unmerited grace. It is handed to you, but only if you look for it. You search, you break your heart, your back, your brain, and then-and only then-it is handed to you.

Are you searching? Are your breaking your heart? Your back? And most importantly, your brain? Are you brave enough to tear apart your precious work of art in order to let it become what it has the potential to become?


Filed under Ann Dee, Revision, writing process

Failure and Revision

Thank you, Andy and Carol, for posting a blog on my behalf plugging my own new book.  As you both know, it’s always nice to finish a book and see it born, but the gestation of a book is so long that by the time the book takes its first public breath, you’re well on your way into the next book, or the next-next book.

That’s where I find myself today: on my way to my next book, and I have to choose between writing a blog or working on the book.  Guess which I’m going to choose.

But don’t despair.  I didn’t want to disappoint my 1.5 blog readers today, so here I present to you JK Rowling’s 2008 graduation speech to students at Harvard.  It’s inspiring, and it’s an entre into thinking about writing and revision:


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Filed under Chris