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Friday, June 22, 2007

Of Writing and Revisions

It's going to be a pedal to the metal weekend for me with revisions. I've been making the smaller changes, but the bigger ones--the ones that require thought--those I've been saving for when I'm more rested and can think more clearly.

Revisions are driving home for me how much I need a coffee table. I'm working on the couch with my laptop and I have papers to either side of me and I have to keep getting up to look at the piles I have on my table or to look up a synonym. I keep thinking, wow, if I had a coffee table, I could lay everything in front of me and I wouldn't have to keep jumping up and down or worry about my papers falling on the floor.

One of the things I started doing on the last two books was print out a calendar and write down which chapters happen on which day. I've discovered I really like this because then I don't need to worry about keeping the timeline straight or rereading to find out how many days have passed. I just consult my handy dandy calendar and the info is all there.

In the Midnight Hour was the first book I did this on and it's because the book starts on the spring equinox and the full moon plays a huge role so I needed to make sure my timing matched perfectly. I liked this method so well, I did it again for In Twilight's Shadow, my 2008 book.

Another new idea I picked up--and I wish I'd heard about it sooner--is a name chart. It's to help you make sure all your characters don't have names starting with the letter J or whatever. It's just a one sheet thing with all the letters of the alphabet listed, and when you mention a new name, you write it down. I think this will work really well for the magical creatures I use in my books as well as the names of the people in the book.

In other news, my friend, the grass-carrying wasp, has tried to build a nest in the same window every single day. I keep opening it up wide when I get home and the wind has blown her nest away, but she doesn't give up.

And two flowers in my porch planters are dead. The plant assassin strikes again.