Revisions Take Time

Shrunken Manuscript
Shrunken Manuscript at Illinois Novel Revision Retreat

Take Time to Revise

Jim Danielson, who attended last weekend’s Illinois retreat, has also posted a picture of a shrunken manuscript.

Here are other links for the Shrunken Manuscript technique:

Intensive feedback, like you get in a weekend retreat, can be overwhelming and after a while, I know I would tend to shut down and just nod and not understand what someone was saying. It’s important to take time later to rethink all the comments you wrote down.

Jim is planning to use the shrunken manuscript to check several issues in his story. Likewise, I know other participants are rereading their manuscripts and hearing the voices of their critique partners in their heads.

Revisions take time: time to give up something you clung to even though it wasn’t working, time to re-envision your story, time to work out the details of the changes needed, time to fall in love with your characters again, time to do the work needed.

Writing is a Business

good girl's guide to negotiatingI also heard from a participant in last month’s Oklahoma picture book retreat. The last session there was about the career of writing. We discussed the realities of submission, contracts, and the fate of midlist books. I suggested the writers read, The Good Girl’s Guide to Negotiations. (Only two participants were men!)

Too many times, I see women writers play tea party in negotiations, to their own detriment.

So – one writer wrote to say that an agent had given her a personal rejection letter. Not the first time this has happened. But it’s the first time the writer immediately sent a second manuscript, which addressed the concerns of the letter in fresh ways.

Yes! Stand up for yourself and your career! No one cares about it as much as you do and if you don’t push for acceptance of your stories, why should anyone else?

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