Monday, August 22, 2011

Wiping Walls and Polishing Manuscripts


So, I was wiping down the walls the other day (please...contain your jealousy of my glamourous life) ;-) and, as often occurs, was reminded of writing.

See, I grabbed a rag just to wipe off some finger prints I saw on the door jamb going into the kitchen. But after I wiped those off, I noticed more over on the back door. And then I noticed more on the doorway leading to the stairs, and then I saw more....well, you see what I mean. Pretty soon I had a bucket of suds and was wiping down every wall, door, and doorway in my house.

I tend to do this with my manuscripts as well. I often go into revisions thinking "everything is pretty good, I just need to make a few tweaks here and there."

And then I get into my pages and notice just a few more things that need some cleaning up...and then a couple more things pop up...and then those things lead to a few more things...and before I know it I've gone in an done a complete overhaul of my whole book :D

This doesn't always happen, of course. But I almost always find more to fix than I thought I needed going in.

Do you do this? Do you go in thinking all you need is a quick wipe down and end up with a bucket and a scrub brush? :D

For me, this actually works well. My preconceived notions help keep me from freaking out when I go into revisions. By the time I realize it needs more work than I thought, I'm already elbow deep into scrubbing and am (usually) pumped to keep going :)

11 comments:

Kittie Howard said...

Great post! Loved the analogy! The other day I checked what I thought would need a minor dusting and ended up scrubbing away.

Stephanie McGee said...

When I was going through the MS the last time to highlight the inconsistencies, I kept finding more things to highlight until before I knew it I had a long list of color keys for what color meant what. Took a couple days to go through and fix the little things then a few more to fix all the inconsistencies.

But, like you said, I was already elbow-deep in highlighting and fixing so I might as well throw in everything I find.

Jen Chandler said...

This sounds all too familiar! I always go in to do a little editing and realize I need to seriously work through the entire book! But, like you said, that initial wiping helps get the energy flowing and I find that I'm able to keep myself movtivated to do what needs to be done!

~Jen

Shari said...

Perfect analogy! The fingerprints and smudges of my ms and my walls and doors never end!

Tiffany Garner said...

This definitely happens to me. Unfortunately, I tend to start going 'Oh, no, there's so much more left to do.' I need to start thinking more like you ;) haha

Katrina L. Lantz said...

:) Maybe I should go into revisions with a wet cloth instead of anticipating the scrubbing! This sounds like a great attitude to have. And I love the analogy, of course.

Mark Noce said...

Yup, I too do the same. Although i have to admit your bucket and suds story reminds me of the Karate Kid, only your zen skills are literary...but whatever gets the writing done...wash on wash off:)

Michelle McLean said...

lol yeah, there's a lot to be said for being mildly delusional LOL Definitely keeps the freak outs at bay ;-)

Caledonia Lass said...

I have just had this happen to me recently... seems like I went in to give a few swipes and ended up taking out the hammer and chisel, so to speak, to my book. But it is worth it and every book needs a good cleaning. Good post!

I have a review and giveaway over at my blog, feel free to drop by.

http://caledonialass.blogspot.com/2011/08/giveaway-review-elf-killers-by-carol.html

Christine Fonseca said...

Dude! I go in thinking I will need to delete and start over, only to find things are a little better than I had thought

Em-Musing said...

I just wish seeing what needs fixing in my manuscript was as easy a seeing smudges.