Wednesday, March 11, 2015

March Madness Check-In #11

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It's funny how we got onto visualization in the last few March Madness posts, but absolutely on point for me. One of the hardest elements of this whole graphic novel adventure is giving up control of a significant element of expression in my writing. My literary heroes include people like George Orwell, who was a master of description, and Neil Gaiman who can build amazing worlds that, no matter how terrifying or strange, transport us and make us glad to be on that ride.

On this WIP, I have to trust someone else to read my creation and accept it but also give him the opportunity to explore his own image (literally) of the story. In the long run, I will have to prepare myself for whatever deviation from my own vision might arise when the artist takes my script and runs with it.

Of course, this doesn't just pertain to an illustrator. All of us will need to face the disfigurement of our manuscripts at the hands of an editor or an agent. For the most part, it is probably for the better, however devastating it might seem at that moment we get that evil editorial email.

I am still in the initial crafting of my manuscript, but I have already spent ages on the original novel version, so it feels vibrant and real. Ironically, I am the one with the cleaver right now. Hacking off this and that. Remodeling these and crushing those. Somewhere in there, is that bright clean soul that will still emerge from the rubble.

What is harder for you? Drafting or revising? I have to say, this time it is a harder call.

No matter what, keep searching and keep creating. She will rise.

Now, I hope you are still reading, because it is time to announce another prize. And the winner is:


CONGRATULATIONS!  Pop on over to Denise's blog for a list of prizes and email Denise with your choice at d(at)denisejaden (dot)com.

And don't forget to check in with  Carol Garvin tomorrow for more Madness!


  1. I think, for me anyway, drafting is the hardest. With revising, I at least have words that I can work with. It's always hard to start with a blank page and work up.

    Congrats, Sere!!!!!

    1. Revising is what I love. I feel as though I have traction!

      Enjoy the madness!

  2. For me, whatever I'm in the swing of is easiest. When I'm drafting a book, it becomes easier after a while and when I finish that book, I want to start drafting other books. The switch over to revising is HARD for me, and usually takes a few weeks to a few months to really feel like I'm in the revising zone, and vice versa. I started drafting this project on March 1st, and I'm already feeling in the drafting zone, so I'm glad about that. The problem will be when I reach the end and have to go on to revise another of my projects.

    1. Ah, momentum! I love it when I can get that going. I've had far too many distractions lately, so it's hard to get some purchase. Here's hoping the dam breaks and I can really get moving soon.

  3. Yay! Thanks Ghost Girl! I almost forgot to check in today and I won a prize. Whoo hoo! I find that revising is the toughest for me, but also I struggle with the first draft completion. I still don't outline well enough and end up meandering, often going all over the place- which means I'm hacking up everything because it makes no sense! My goals this month are showing signs of this curse- especially since I'm supposed to be writing short stories and they are ending up super long! I need to actually keep the writing in check!

    1. YAY! Congrats, Sere! Boy, do I know that curse well. That's one reason I switched gears in such a big way. The whole project just seemed stuck in the mud. I'm sending some good clear "sense" vibes your way...!

  4. What a challenge, Mary Ann (but a fun one!). All the best with it!

    Drafting is harder for me. Of course, revising can seem IMPOSSIBLE when I first try to digest editorial notes, but once I'm rolling, I really love revising. :)

    Congrats, Sere!

  5. Last year, I would have said "writing" is harder than revising—but then, I got my first of three editorial letters from my editor for my Sept 2015 release. Despite gushing praise for the writing / story / idea, I have a thorough editor who I LOVE to pieces, but man, did she ever work me over in revisions. For those months, I suffered my greatest self-doubt, drank the most wine, and faced the most frustration of any part in my writing life. But now, on the other side, with ARC in hand and lots of great stuff on the horizon, I realize that it all made me a better writer, and it was SO worth it.

    So now, as I sit at 10K for book 2, which is due in a couple of months, I'd probably say that WRITING is harder than revisions ;-)

    Good luck hacking away at your graphic novel. I write educational graphic novels and while I have much more leeway than traditional graphic novel writers would have (ie: the messaging still needs to get in), I am always overwhelmed by the hacking that MUST go on, and the trust I must place in my incredibly talented illustrator. It WILL be worth it.

    1. Thanks, Dawn. And ((hugs)) for those tough editorial moments. You survived it, so now you can nail that again!

  6. Drafting has always been easier for me, even though I've struggled with it of late. Revising is just such a daunting task, and since I come from a family of dither-ers, I struggle with knowing what to change, and if that change is an improvement or not. Luckily, I have an agent who is very willing to act as a sounding board (it helps that she's a writer, too, I think). I like collaborative work, and having someone who isn't afraid to roll up her sleeves and get dirty has really helped. Plus, I've made a concerted effort to study revision and plot, and though I don't think I'll ever find plot-work easy, I feel like I'm making some headway there. And, there's that whole aspect of learning to trust myself. Ah well, what doesn't kill makes me stronger, or crankier, or both.

    Anyhow, words for today are done, hurray! Best of luck as you figure out how to handle the whole graphic novel thing - I would imagine it's similar to what picture book authors experience, yes?

  7. Oooh. Graphic novels are an interesting beast to tackle. I'm excited for you. Writing in different mediums this semester (short story form and film script) has been an interesting challenge to stretch my creative muscles.

    When it comes to the battle of drafting v. revising, I honestly believe it depends on the day. Take this day, for instance. I slept a couple of hours because after much deliberation on my short story due today, I went in a completely different direction. Down to the wire, I finished my story at 5667 words. I barely got to look it over so I'm glad we have the option to revise our stories.

    The fact that I knew exactly what I wanted to say with the first two story ideas but I couldn't get the words out, made this drafting process a brutal one. This third idea just flowed--but I wished the decision to tackle it didn't come so late in the game. So, yes, drafting can be just as difficult as going back to revise. Sometimes I'm just glad to get the story out so I can breathe again. It's been a stressful few days. Tonight, I'm rewarding myself with watching recordings of The Voice while studying for my other courses (though I should probably sleep to recharge, LOL).

    Fingers crossed on this story, though, because it's out of my wheelhouse and not with my usual teen or middle grade male protag. Should be interesting. I think it's great to have the opportunity to take creative risks, so good feelings all around. :)

  8. Yes, I think you are right about the comparison to picture books. The trouble I'm having now is "chunking" the story in a logical way because chapters don't work quite the same way in a lot of graphic novels. Like you, I wrestle with the plot so much more than the other elements of the story. I've started looking at structure and found a few good resources. Now if I can just get work to slow down a little so I can get back to my "real job"!

    Keep banging on with that word count! Way to go!


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