Monday, May 3, 2010


Author Julianne MacLean presented a session on Revisions to our local RWA chapter yesterday.  She showed us before and after scenes that illustrated some of the changes she makes as she goes through several passes of revisions.  I like hearing different processes because it confirms how different we all are and that published authors arrive at the finished books in vastly different ways. Julianne also has a real love and respect for the written word and romance novels which comes through in the quality of her work. I wish I could start every week with an inspiring session from a good writer. Makes me want to go home and make my work better. 

One of Julianne's strongest messages was that anything can be fixed in the rewrite. This makes me feel a whole lot calmer about my writing and my ability to fix what's wrong with my current MS. She also recommended a book by Rennie Browne and Dave King, SELF EDITING FOR FICTION LOVERS. This is one of the first writing craft books I bought, the pages are yellow in my copy, but truthfully I've never read it. I spent the past hour searching for it and finally found it in the drawer of my kitchen table. Isn't that where everyone keeps their writing books? On my search I found another craft book I was searching for last week. Guess what else is on this weeks to do list? Yes, organizing the office/desk/bookshelves once again. I'm going to institute a 15 min daily organization time for a two week trial period to see if that will conquer the disorganization and paper pile up.

I spent sometime brainstorming last week with one of my fabulous crit partners and I think I've ironed out some of my sticking points in my plot. When the writing is going well, there's nothing else I'd rather be doing. But, when it's rough going I can think of a million excuses to procrastinate.

So, this week, I have five books to read for a contest, a three-chapter critique for a friend and 5,000 words of my own to write and a car to take in for servicing.

What's on your schedule this week


Annette Gallant said...

Julianne's session was awesome, and I also left feeling uber-inspired!

Glad the brainstorming helped. Always a good feeling when you figure out missing plot pieces.:)

Borrowed the King/Browne book from the library and have been trying to apply what I read. Am planning to buy it soon, especially because of all the examples.

Wow, sounds like a busy week. Happy writing! (and organizing, and car servicing and...)

Anne MacFarlane said...

Thanks Annette. The self-editing book has been recommended to me by many writers. I've had a lot of great advice this week. Now, I'm trying to incorporate into my story.

Kelly Boyce said...

I'm in - UGH - synopsis hell this week. On the plus side, writing out the very rough draft made me realize I need to nail down the GMC and change a few things about the ending.

And I hear you on Julianne's session. It was great hearing her process and seeing the before and after.

Michelle Helliwell said...

It was an awesome session - her words about making sure every line was the best it could possibly be made me want to go home and fix everything (happens to me often these days...).

Anne, if you get time, that King/Browne book is worth the read. I really don't like alot of craft books (can I admit here that Maas doesn't really do it for me?) but I really did learn something from that one. There are examples - bad ones and how some tiny fixes can make it so much better. They also employ some dry humour, which I figure can't hurt. Reading that book, I think, will make be a better CP as well.

Anne MacFarlane said...

Kelly, I resist writing the ugly synopsis for as long as possible. When I do, though, I realize it really helps me nail the character's journey and I wonder why I didn't write it sooner.

Anne MacFarlane said...

Michelle, I found the book and it's on my desk. Now, just have to actually open it...