Thursday, July 4, 2013

Paring down the List---or F-O-C-U-S

Recently, with an eye to publishing online, I sent off a completed piece of work to a freelance editor. Every time I turned around I read about online publishing the advice kept hitting me: "Hire an editor!" So I did.

The experience brought me up short and made me look in a direction I hadn't thought of before with that particular piece. The story was fine, in a general sense, but it needed this and this. This word was overused. Oh, and this one, too.  You're repeating this and how about showing the audience how this happened. Yes, I suppose in a sense you could say it was ripped to shreds. Surprisingly, the feedback felt good. It really did.

The nearest simile I can think of right now is it like someone walking into a room you like. The room has colors and textures you like, furniture and art you've grown fond of, but there's clutter you don't know what to do with and the placement of the furniture isn't quite working for you. They deconstruct the room, pare down the clutter and move furniture around,  You blink in amazement---the room looks so right and what you've always liked about it is stronger. Whoa!

Now down to what I'm talking about in the title of this post. I'm revamping my projects list. I want and need to revise two of them. I have three rough drafts to complete  The rest is going to the back burner.

Revision tier:
  1. "Dani's Song" - I'm scrapping the notion of simply e-publishing a revised fairy tale (with or without illustrations) and going to revising it into a full grown middle school book.
  2. Rain- Of course it needs revising! It's been read and critiqued with all its shortcomings delineated. I want to get it straightened out and into the publishing ether. My characters deserve that chance.
Rough Draft tier:
  1. Snow
  2. Troika
  3. Familiar Strangers
I will be focusing on revision but I can't completely. It will be more of a 60/40 mix between the tiers or perhaps 80/20. Working on one storyline all by itself saps me. Switching to another for a space is what keeps things going for me. I don't risk burnout by any means. I'm too addicted to writing for that.

So what do you say? It's July. Should I give myself a deadline?  Nah---not yet. But the DFW Writers Con in 2014 is coming up in less than a year. Another gut-wrenching pitch perhaps?  Or two?

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