Revisions

I didn’t write a blog last week because I was still on a cruise ship on Wednesday, sailing from Cozumel to Tampa. The cruise was wonderful. Five days of being treated like royalty…and being told there were wonderful bargains to be had, onboard and off. I did see a Goya etching I liked, but I walked away when told I could have it for a mere $3,400, and in Grand Cayman, I did buy some earrings (a pair of caymanite earrings and a pair of Australian opal earrings), but I don’t think the jewelry store lost money on the sale.

Hell, Grand Cayman

Hell, Grand Cayman

I went to Hell in George Town, Grand Cayman, and earned a Tequila Aficionado certificate for having successfully completed the tequila seminar at the Jose Cuervo Discover Mexico Park in Cozumel, Mexico. Of course I liked the most expensive tequila.

Prior to sailing off into the sunset, I had been working on revisions on my third “Crow” book. Although I wish my writing was perfect the moment I type it into the computer, I know that’s not true, and I really don’t mind revisions, especially if I feel the suggestions improve the story. With these revisions I ended up cutting a thousand words, which was fine. I’ve read way too many books where I wished the author had cut words. Lots of words.

The difficult part of revisions, in my opinion, is making sure that the changes are reflected throughout the story. In many ways, I feel writing is the same as painting. With a painting, if I change something in one area, I need to make sure I haven’t disturbed the balance of the entire painting. With writing, I need to check the entire ms to make sure the changes I make don’t duplicate or contradict what I have in the rest of the story.

Some changes are easy. One change I made was a name. Deputy Youngs became Deputy Sawyer. A search, find, and replace took care of that. There are also times where, if I’m not careful, a change could really screw up a book. I remember one instance several books back where the word I was changing could also be found as a part of other words, and I forgot to indicate that I wanted whole words only. Thank goodness for the undo option.

Other changes are more complicated. Two weeks ago I rewrote an entire scene. When I finished, I was glad I had, but it did take me a while to figure out how I could still get all the information in that scene that I felt needed to be there and yet make it different.

I envy writers who visualize entire books, sit down, and write them. I struggle through each of mine. Here again, writing reminds me of painting. I visualize how I want a painting to look, start painting, discover it’s not turning out as I’d anticipated, look at it from a distance, make changes, listen to suggestions from others, and finally deem it finished. It never looks exactly as I’d pictured, but sometimes, if I’m lucky, it’s better than I pictured. The same is true of my writing.

Crows

Crows

 

 

 

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8 Responses to Revisions

  1. Looks like a beautiful cruise. We’re thinking of taking one this fall. I’m with you on the writing and revisions. Always a struggle, but oh the reward!

  2. grandma says:

    I remember TASTING tequila….. Too much. with slices of oranges as the only “snack” Did we have a headache later?

    • Maris SouleMaris Soule says:

      Ah, Grandma, you must be talking about someone else. Me taste too much? (Insert big smile here. Grandma knew me when…) I’ve got to admit, even after this “tasting” I wasn’t feeling much pain, but that might be because they also served us a margarita and then a Corona.

  3. Melissa Keir says:

    Sounds like a wonderful trip. The earrings also sound like a great find! I’ve never been on a cruise.

    I have been stuck with my writing. I have it started and have been so swamped at work I haven’t wanted to do any writing. I come home and veg…

    • Maris SouleMaris Soule says:

      Melissa, I think you would love being on a cruise. When your books hit the NY Times best sellers’ lists, you must treat yourself to one. (Sound like a plan?)

  4. Ah Maris, you never let any grass grow under your feet. Hope you had a wonderful time and got some inspiration for another book. Can hardly wait to see the book you’re finishing now be ready for us to read.

    All the best, Annette

  5. Lucy Kubash says:

    Sounds like the cruise was a wonderful time. It’s always good to get away from it all for a while. I’m looking forward to getting away at retreat tomorrow! And it’s supposed to be 73 on Saturday!!

  6. Sherryl Johnson says:

    Hi Maris and Bill,
    You had dinner with my daughter Jamie and me on the boat the evening you had been to Hell and back 🙂 Good to meet you. Thanks for sharing your contact info. Looking forward to getting started on your books.
    I am working on a non-fiction. Just starting with Dragon Dictate hoping it is a helpful tool for writing.