Monday, December 20, 2010

How this round of Revisions is like Slaying Newborn Bunnies... and not in the good way

You ever have one of those so-desperate-you-scrape-the-bottom-of-the-deoderant-stick-and-apply-the-crumbs-with-your-fingers-cuz-you-know-you'll-never-make-it-to-the-store-and-now-your-fingers-are-sweat-resistant-all-over-your-keyboard?

Yeah, I'm having one of those days too. 

First off, my revisions are due in two days (48 hours) and I hit a snag this morning. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll use an example that will illustrate what I did.

(Btw, if your name is Kristin, and you're my editor, and you're reading my blog, disregard the above statement. Everything is fine. I'm embellishing the facts for the entertainment purposes of the blog. Nothing to see here. Don't you have something else to do? Hey! What's that over there?! Behind you!)

Okay, so imagine if my editor sent me a revision note saying:

"Hey! I think you should have some more scenes where your character drives a car!"

And so, I add a bunch of scenes toward the beginning of the book where my character drives a car. My editor was right. Brilliant suggestion.

But, then I'm reading through what I think will be the final version, and I reach the halfway point, to chapter 23, in which my character learns how to drive a car for the first time. And she's marvelling in the fact that she's never been able to drive a car before.

And I thought about all those scenes in chapters 6, 8, 12, 15, 22, where I had her driving a car, as if it was a totally normal thing to do. But apparently, she didn't have the ability to drive said car until chapter 23. 

Ack!! How stupid am I? (Don't answer that!) How did I forget that my character couldn't drive a car, and there was this pivotal scene where she finally is able to drive? 

That's like thinking your character is a boy, and then suddenly, halfway through the book, he looks down at his chest and exclaims, "I love this new bra!"

How could I not remember? 

For those writers out there, I know you'll understand it when I say adding a scene is an intricate process. Little details affect other little details, which then fall madly in love with other details, and those details make babies, and suddenly your book is littered with a million newborn bunnies you hadn't planned for.

Now, I have to go back and slay every little single bunny, so to speak. 

Okay, thanks for listening. And talking me down. I can do this. 

(Again, Kristin, the above is total fiction. It happened... to my... friend. It would suck to be her, wouldn't it?)

So, this ever happened to any of you?


  1. That totally happened to me in my recent revision. And I got stuck in a corner. I just went back and changed it so the firs time that I'd added it into the story became the first time with the experience of it being a first time. I think it came out well, but it was such a hard moment! So good luck, Brodi!!

  2. Chersti- Dang! I wish I could do the same fix. Glad yours worked out! What's the latest with you, btw? Catch me up.

  3. Yikes! I hate bunny slaying. Even thinking about it makes me want to cower in the corner. Good luck to you!

  4. Uh, yeah. Try collaborating. It really sucks when your revisions not only spawn baby bunnies for you but for the other person as well.

  5. Jenilyn- I just took a break so I could cower in the corner.

    Valynne- Collaborating with a writing partner is like spawning illegitimate bunnies. You never know where they're going to pop up.

  6. This post made me laugh out loud. Not at your frustration, but the notes to your editor.

    You'll figure out a way to keep only the most essential bunnies-- and the finished product will be fabulous and none of us will be any the wiser to whatever went wrong!

    If it makes you feel better, I wrote an 88,000 word manuscript and feedback has dictated that I need to change one of the character's names. Sounds so small, but it feels like a childhood friend getting a gender re-assignment after all the time I've spent knowing her with name "A"!!

  7. I kind of know what you're going through. When I wrote documentation for my company, I used to write things at the beginning of the manuals and then realize that I totally changed how I wrote them in the end of the manual. I hate when there's continuity issues, so I'd have to fix it. But then, I realize I did it again. Keep everything straight is hard. I can only imagine what that would be like when you're creating a whole new world and your playing god to your characters and how you can totally kill or birth (?) their existence depending on how you write ONE sentence. Good luck!

  8. Gina- Isn't it funny how attached we get to a character's name? I tried to change my MC's name once. It was impossible!

    Jenni- That's exactly how it is! Now I'm off to figure out which bunnies to birth, and which ones to euthanize.

  9. Yikes! Good luck, Brodi the Bunny Slayer.

  10. While I was writing my (bad) first draft, I realized a certain subplot wasn't working, but I didn't want to fix it right away... so I blithely wrote the rest, just pretending that it never existed. Now I have to go back and hunt it down in all its fluffy glory. Along with the "new baby" subplot, which is similarly useless.

    Great analogy--need any help on your search and destroy mission? :D You know I'd do just about anything to get an early peek at Everneath! :)

  11. Keersten- That has a ring to it!

    Robin- I always take the quickest road during revisions, and I end up paying for it later.

    I really hope after all this support and anticipation, my book lives up to the promise for you!

  12. No offense but is there ever a GOOD way to slay a newborn bunny? ;) Although the title made me laugh my butt off.

    Oh, the mutating-multiplying-bunnies-of-doom. The infection is quite a mire. Hope your scenes work out all right and wishing you a sharp piece of steel and some slow bunnies.

  13. L.T.- I am slashing bunnies as we speak.