Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Too Many Things to Change!

When there’s something in my book that needs to change, it’s like a bee landed on my shoulder. Have you ever noticed how people freak out over one bee? They squeal and run around waving their hands in the air. “Oh no, I just might get stung!” Or, to make the metaphor work, “Oh no, something’s wrong with my book and I’m a bad writer!”
I just brush the bee off my shoulder. It flies away.

When I get surrounded by five bees, I start to worry about getting stung. Then, as I continue working on my book, it’s like a swarm of bees accumulate around me until all I can hear is the buzz and the fear. I'll want to run for the hills.
When one bee stings you, it releases a chemical that communicates to the other bees that you are a threat. This tells them where to attack. If you get stung by one bee, you’re almost certain to get stung by another, and another.
In case you haven’t already surmised, I’m feeling a little intimidated by all the changes I have to make in my book, especially since I want it to be decent before I go to the conference. When I fix one problem, it reveals ten more. It’s causing a racket in my head and making it difficult to focus. I’m not at the point yet where I want to run for the hills, but I did get close to feeling I might as well stop swatting at the bees because there’s too many of them.
The only thing getting me through this is organization. I have a sheet called “editing notes,” and it’s separated into sections: To Add and to Cut, Rearrange or Rewrite, Plot Consistency, Character, and Technique. When I get a beta’s comments, I organize them accordingly, and I include everything they say. When I fix the problem, I delete the comment.
How do you handle it when you feel overwhelmed by revisions?

Don't forget to sign up for the Favorite Book Challenge Blogfest!


  1. I feel that way right now. I liken revisions to a game of Jenga... pulling things out, putting them elsewhere, getting rid of them altogether until you're left with a whole new structure. Problem is, I suck at Jenga. Let's hope I'm a little luckier with revising!

  2. There comes a point where the changes accumulate and a rewrite is needed.

    When I find a spot that is not working, or that needs a lot of work to flow with the story, I just scrap it and start over.

    I have heard this called "Killing your Lovelies," and it hurts because whatever isn't working represents a lot of my time. In the end, especially with a refreshed sense of story trajectory, rewriting scenes always ends in better success than revising and revising ... at least, for me.

  3. Hugs! I'm sorry you're feeling overwhelmed. I hate those times-- I usually have to take a day off to let my mind settle on other things, then dive in, organize, and get to work. It sounds like you've got a pretty good process for your edits. Good luck with them!

  4. I could never figure out why everyone freaked when a bee came around. If you don't bother it, it won't bother you.

  5. I'm not there yet, Teralyn, but I sympathize. It's just part of the process. Loved the "bee" metaphor:)

  6. I get someone to sit with me and help me with whatever I'm doing. Usually this need for help embarrasses me enough to motivate me to put some real effort into things. Generally the person will actually help me get through the problem, too. They can offer a fresh perspective on things.


I love hearing from my readers!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...