Unlike my pal and fellow blogger Belle Yang, I can't really take a photo of my work in progress. For one thing, it doesn't look as nice as I am not a talented artist. And really, looking at my pages filled with scrawl doesn't really explain how it works for me. The other strange thing is that my revision process doesn't always stay the same. I want to be able to say that I am resolute in my process, always following along the same tried and true path, but that just isn't true, and I'm not setting out to be a liar at this stage of the game.
This novel that I'm working on was different in that it came to me in a pretty clear narrative, chronological flow. I started at the beginning and kept going. In times past, my writing seems to be a bit more recursive. My first novel started out as a 17 page short story that I ended up "filling," pushing open and lengthening the story. I went back into it over and over again, at different points, telling and retelling. I developed whole characters that I later ended up cutting. Another novel I basically had to blast apart the first 80 pages, change many plot elements, and start from scratch, connecting it back up to page 81.
I also used to kill many more trees than I do now, printing out my entire manuscript a couple of times and writing all over each draft. I think that it's likely a good thing to do, but I can't stand the waste of it. I would definitely recycle the paper, but there it wold go, perfect paper back into the system. Sort of makes my skin crawl.
So with this one, I relied heavily on my reader and now readers. My friend Kris has been my bellwether for years, and I crossed my fingers hoping that the good feeling that I've had with this novel translated to others. And seemingly, it did. Yes, she had some very specific comments, places I needed to go in and fix and work on, but the novel "made me happy."
That makes me happy!
So I've been going through her notes, and now, this weekend and probably the next couple of weeks, I will go through the entire thing, working a couple of the new ideas, connecting the loose threads and snipping and tucking and weaving them. And then--off it will go to my agent.
And then, the whole process might start over again! Cross your fingers for me, folks.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org