Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm Back from my Revision Retreat: And How Your Book is like a Big Pizza Pie

Hey Y'all. Happy Wednesday. 

I'm back! Thanks for making Sam feel so welcome on Monday. He's filled in on the blog three times now, and so far he's 3 for 3 on using the word "metrosexy". Because that's the mark of people who are metrosexy- they have to remind you a lot.

I think he's totally metrosexy, in a fluffy, squidgy kind of way. 

As Sam told you, I spent the last two days up in the mountains of Midway, UT, to do some revising. I took the trip because I was getting a little lost in my book - Alice down the rabbit hole kind of lost - so I decided to make a road map of it using post-it notes.

Presenting, your first look at EVERNEATH, post-it style:

On the tour of my book:

If you'll follow me please... The book starts in the upper-left hand corner, and goes down column by column. As you can see the notes are color-coded. 

Blue: Flash Backward
Green: Flash Sideways
Orange: MC (Main Character) eats a slice of Pizza

(Okay, one of these is not the true code)

The thing I like best about this method is that it's a snapshot of the balance and pacing in my book. Yes, my MC eats a lot of pizza.  Especially toward the end. And therein lies the rub (of special tomato sauce):

Readers are bound to get bored of the MC only eating pizza. They'll be all, "Hey! What happened to those cool little blue post-its? And I haven't seen a green one in ages. Flash me somewhere! Beam me up, Snotty!"

Imagine if the pizza delivery guy came, and all the toppings were piled on 3 slices. We'd never stand for it. We demand our toppings to be sprinkled evenly throughout!

Okay, to address the elephant in the room, does anyone have any spare pizza? Seriously. Apparently I'm starving.

With my book made up of post-it notes, it was easy to put all the notes together, shuffle them like a deck of cards, and divvy them out evenly. The book doesn't make sense anymore, but according to the color wheel, it's pleasing to the eyes.

The other thing I discovered while on retreat:

Bottles of Diet Coke are, on average, one or two fingers too big for a single serving. 
Somebody do something. There are people in the world who don't have access to Diet Coke, and here I am wasting two-fingers worth with every serving. 

It's okay, though. I pooled the leftovers, and I'm using it to plant a tree in Brooklyn.
So, what do you think of the book? And how are you NaNoWriMo-ers doing? And is anyone else craving pizza?


  1. I totally zoomed in and read each post it note. The book was wonderful. ;) I had pizza for lunch yesterday. It was delicious. And thanks a lot, now I' hungry too.

    Nano is crazy. I can't believe I signed up. I am actually making more progress than I had though. I'm at 11,700-ish and hope to make a huge jump in that today.

  2. 11,000-ish? That is so good! Seriously. I think the first 15,000 is always the hardest.

    Go Debbie!

  3. Welcome Home! Sounds like you had so much fun, you didn't want to ever return. Hope Kid C is feeling better.

  4. Anne- Yeah, Kid C puking played a part in my not wanting to come home... Glad you're home too!

  5. i'm craving pizza @ 9:45 in the morning!

  6. Dorien- I know how it feels! It's going around...

  7. You know, Brodi, it would appear you're still drinking (and wasting) Diet Coke in 20 oz bottles. Have you tried the smaller 16 oz bottles? They are the perfect beverage to enjoy with a big ol' slice from The Pie too. Just saying.

  8. Windy- Then how would I have extra to donate to Good Will? :)
    Thanks for the tip!

  9. Mmm... pizza always sounds good! And I've figured out how to solve the Diet Coke dilemma. Just buy a big ol' 2 Liter bottle and carry it around constantly. That way those pesky little inches will be enough to share with friends.
    And when you're going out in public you can just pour a small amount into one of those handy dandy little hip flasks.

  10. It looks like you're piecing a quilt together. I love it! And, if pizza is code for something else, then I'm all for those pizza Post-its! :)

  11. Kayla- That's a good idea, but I'm sort of picky about the amount of bubbles in my Diet Coke. A 2-liter bottle would no doubt lose it's bubbles after the first or second cup.

    Yeah, I'm Diet-Coke-OCD.

    Jenni- As everyone knows, eating pizza is the universal code for kissing.

    At least that's what I assumed my high school boyfriend meant when he wanted to go out for pizza all the time.

    Am I wrong?

  12. Ya know, the problem with whole bottles of Diet Coke is that when you get to those two little fingers, all the bubbles are gone! Who wants flat Diet Coke?

  13. Brod - you're hilarious. Loved the tree in Brooklyn line. As for your post-its, that's a brilliant idea for visualizing your book. Where do you learn these fancy tricks? Come over for dishes any time. I'd love the company (and conversation!)

  14. Well, at least you're not starving your MC, right? And it better be varying types of pizza. Like a garlic chicken Alfredo. And why am I thinking about this at 9 AM?

    Congrats on the retreat and reorganizing! I want a wall-o-post-it's just like that!

  15. Lulabell- The way I drink it, the bubbles are never gone!

    Cath- Will do.

  16. L.T.- because 9 am is the best time to think about pizza.

    And now I'm thinking about it...

  17. This was so random - I loved it! I don't think I'd ever be able to write a book in post-its. Though now I'd like to try...

  18. Welcome back! Hope you got lots of work done, because we're all desperate to read your book! Pizza, kissing, sticky notes, and all!

  19. Love your sense of humor over what must have been a tough time.

  20. Melissa- I would suggest writing the book first, and then transferring it on to post-its. :)

    Robin- Thanks, girlfriend!

    Donna- It's the only way to survive, right?