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28 December 2007 @ 01:35 pm
Revision lessons  
Things learned (so far) while revising Bones of Faerie:

- There are a lot of words in the world. Use more of them.
- You know those writers who withhold information from the reader for no good reason? And how you thought you weren't one of them? You were wrong.
- It's amazing how much you can cut out and still have the story be intact.
- And when you're done taking all of that out? Take out some more. There's always something more to delete.
- If you could take every last word away, the story would be perfect. But you can't, so it won't.
- Commas aren't always your friend.
- But replacing them all with semicolons isn't the answer.
- That lyrical prose you're so fond of? There are ways to lighten it up and let it breathe, all while not losing the lyricism.
- Sometimes, it's time to let the strange stylistic quirks go.
- But not always.
- Stop repeating yourself. Stop repeating yourself. Stop--yeah.
- You don't need to save all of your protagonist's growth and change for the end of the book.
- That thing that sort of kind of bothered you, but that you thought you could get away with? You can't.
- No, not that one, either.
- Sometimes, the story isn't about what you think it's about.
- Sometimes, both your strengths and your weaknesses lie in different places than you thought they did.
 
 
 
David Lubardavidlubar on December 28th, 2007 08:45 pm (UTC)
So true.
Melinda R. Cordellrosefiend on December 28th, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
Yep, you kinda got me pegged, too.
aeriedraconiaaeriedraconia on December 28th, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC)
Loffs your list and it sounds amazingly applicable over here too.

Pete and Repeat are in a boat. Pete fell out, who is left? Repeat. Pete and Repeat are in a boat......
~twilight~_twilight_ on December 28th, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC)
"- That thing that sort of kind of bothered you, but that you thought you could get away with? You can't.
- No, not that one, either."

Heh. :D
Kasey Mackenziekaitiana on December 29th, 2007 01:56 am (UTC)
Great post! =)
(Deleted comment)
Janni Lee Simner: bones-quarterjanni on December 29th, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Stop repeating yourself...
See, I thought I was repeating myself to Significant Dramatic Effect, but, umm, no. :-)

Or as my editor said, "the story is already dramatic enough." :-)
littlebirdblue on January 4th, 2008 03:30 am (UTC)
Re: Stop repeating yourself...
I'm liking this limited-room-in-the-world-for-drama theory on multiple levels.
Janni Lee Simner: bones-quarterjanni on January 4th, 2008 04:12 am (UTC)
Re: Stop repeating yourself...
I do, too. In a way, it's another way of not repeating oneself ... having brought the drama home one way, I don't need to pound on it from another direction as well, because the first direction is doing the job just fine (and better) on its own.
Lyric: LyricLemonlyriclemon on December 29th, 2007 06:35 am (UTC)
>>- That thing that sort of kind of bothered you, but that you thought you could get away with? You can't.

Ahhhh, I needed to hear that.

If it sort of kind of bothers me, then it sure as heck will bother the reader!
Janni Lee Simner: bones-quarterjanni on December 30th, 2007 05:14 am (UTC)
Yup. Readers are smart that way. :-)
desperancedesperance on December 29th, 2007 08:03 pm (UTC)
If you could take every last word away, the story would be perfect. But you can't, so it won't.

That is just sooo true.

*sighs*

*deletes*
Janni Lee Simner: bones-quarterjanni on December 30th, 2007 05:13 am (UTC)
Pesky words, always getting in the way ...
ThBthumbelinablues on December 30th, 2007 01:32 am (UTC)
Reading this list is very Zen...some of it is advice I've heard before, but put all together, it seems to simultaneously say "don't do these things!" and "if you do these things, it's okay - you can go back and revise."

Also, *waves*, hi! I've been a fan since reading "Windwood Rose" as a wee bairn and I found you here through a link from tammypierce.
Janni Lee Simner: bones-quarterjanni on December 30th, 2007 05:13 am (UTC)
(Waves back)

And it makes me smile that you remember "Windwood Rose," too. :-) (One of the very first stories I wrote, though it took a few years of revising before it was good enough to sell!)
lauramanivonglauramanivong on January 16th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
Incredible list of newbie tips...thing is, it takes years of writing and re-writing to finally really get this (okay, for me it did). And then it's so easy to fall off the wagon.

Must. Not. Overwrite.
Janni Lee Simner: bones-quarterjanni on January 16th, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)
I'm still working on getting much of it! :-)

(Starting a new project with all of these in mind is ... interesting.)
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