now is the time when we revise

Dance, revise, it’s all the same.

It’s finding the rhythm, weaving the patterns. Making art out of good ideas.

Haven’t been around much because of some legitimate reasons and some lazy reasons, but I’m here now, kids. And we’re going taking a ride on the revision train. Let me punch your ticket.


My tracks might be a little bumpy, but no catastrophic failures are allowed.

I’m going to loosely keep you up to date on what I’m doing, not because I’m such an expert, but because what I do might spark something that tweaks your own process for the better. We’re all learning.

I write in chapters. Not everyone does. I have a couple of critique partners who don’t. (One has a BIG DEAL AGENT NOW.) I need the structure of chapters to keep my plot chunks straight. I also like the ZINGO of dramatic chapter endings that make the reader either turn the page as fast as he can or put the book down and go, “whoa”.

So most of my manuscript has not been printed out. Oh, it’s been backed up on the external hard drive, baby. If you don’t have a big-deal terabyte external hard drive bought for your birthday by your darling children, you should be backing up on a thumb drive or in Dropbox or Google docs or some Cloud of some sort. You can even email your chapters to yourself, the old fashioned way.

As I print out my chapters I remember that–oh yeah–I rewrote some of them, and have three chapter sixes, four chapter twelves…and I curse myself for saving them as, “chap6bob.doc, chap6toobob.doc, chap6imeanitbob.doc”.


At least I saved them all in the same folder. THE SAME FOLDER.

So today I will find the most recently revised rendition of each chapter, print and collate them all together in a physical file.

Because my next step is to go through every chapter and write on an index card what happens in that chapter.



About Lisha Cauthen

Lisha Cauthen writes YA novels for guys that girls like to read too.

Posted on March 19, 2012, in writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Sprockets!! That takes me back.
    Well, have a good revision trip, Lisha. Looking forward to your updates.

  2. I didn’t note chapter occurrences in my past book, but it’s one of of my upcoming goals to do it for this book. I need the help organizing it. Also, I need to revise it. The !@#!er doesn’t seem to be revising itself the last couple of weeks I’ve left it to do so, dagnabit.

  3. Safe travels! *Waves bye-bye to the revision train*

  4. Thanks for the good wishes, Dana.

    You’ll prolly be seeing a few peeps, Judy.

    Deb, if only we could train our WIPs to take care of themselves.

  1. Pingback: forget sprockets: keep revising « The Imaginal Realm

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