Here's How I'm Planning on Revising My Novel

blue-flowersI’ve been swamped lately–with work and baby and house and life stuff. In between all of it, I have a novel I’ve written, somehow. A really lovely little novel, if I don’t say so myself. Lovely and rough around the edges. My agent, bless her heart, has big plans for said novel and is working with me to help make it as presentable as possible before she takes it to publishers in the near future. For now, I have the job of polishing and fixing and tweaking–some relatively big changes, some really tiny ones. The novel needs a little work. Surgery? Not really. But maybe out-patient surgery.

Quick incision. A few stitches. Minimal scars.

Even so, I’m convinced that revising a book is harder than writing a book, because of the complexity. If you change one thing on page 29, you better carry it through on page 129–and that’s a lot to keep track of. But, I love these characters and this story (even after 392 reads–or at least that’s what it feels like!), so here’s what I’m going to do to get it in the shape it needs to be in (writers, feel free to take inspiration from this list–or just laugh at me!):

1. I will be drinking lots of coffee.

2. And wine.

3. I will be getting up early.

4. And staying up late.

5. And making lots of ferry trips to visit the island where my book takes place, but also because I’m considering buying a house there. Killing two birds with one stone–can’t beat that.

6. I will be listening to 1940s jazz standards, because this will help me get into the place where half of the book takes place.

7. I will be silencing my inner naysayer.

8. I will be yawning, and then slapping my face to wake myself back up.

9. I will be putting myself on a TV restriction. Except The Bachelorette. I just can’t be that cruel to myself.

10. I will be crying (because this story makes me cry–is this weird? Probably.)

11. I will be doubting myself one moment …

12. … then thinking I am brilliant the next.

13. Then doubting myself again.

14. I will be thinking of my book as a movie …

15. … with Rachel McAdams as the heroine.

16. I will be procrastinating, which is what I’m doing right now.

17. Which brings me to now–off to those revisions.

18. I will be using the contact number for o2.


Photo: MR+G

  • July 1, 2009

    more power to you! revisions are something i am not good at. i like being DONE. good luck!

  • July 2, 2009

    Wow! That sounds like a lot of work, good for you to perservere!

  • July 2, 2009

    I can’t wait to read your novel, Sarah!!! XO

  • July 16, 2009

    I do not know how you do it, Sarah! You’re my hero in the writing world! Keep it up! And please let us know when it’s done!


  • July 16, 2009
  • July 22, 2009
    Margo Spellman

    I am so impressed with your diligence, discipline and talent!
    And what island are you moving to??? Do dish.

  • July 28, 2009

    Sarah – I don’t know how I’ve been reading Vitamin G so long and didn’t know about your blog – I just spent the last hour or so catching up on all your posts – LOVE it!!! And please keep us posted about your book – I will def. be buying it!!

  • November 2, 2009

    Keep on writing! I would love to read it someday. Who is your agent? I think I might be able to use a good local agent one of these days…


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