I know there are thousands of author blogs out there, all with something to say about revisions, writing, process and publishing. It’s hard to stand out, or even say something new. The only thing I can talk about is *my* process and experience. And who am I to tell others how to succeed? I’ve written dozens of novels since I was 10 or 11, but until the last year or two, I never really got serious about learning the craft and figuring out what I needed to do to be published.
Well one of the things I did first was figure out that I needed some subjective, anonymous feedback on my writing, so I joined Critique Circle. Turns out that was one of the best things I could have done. I found a great group of people who’ve helped me grow as a writer, and supported me when I felt like giving up. I still have work to do on the technical/writing side of things – characterization, conflict, suspense – but now I know not to use so many adverbs, or dependent clauses. I know where I need more description or less. I know when something is working and when it’s not.
The problem came when I got to the revision side of things. I worked on my “first” novel for over a year, revising and revising and revising. And I still wasn’t satisfied. I sent out a few half-hearted queries, got a couple of requests, but nothing really came of it. I think I knew deep down that there were still some fundamental problems with the book and that I had no idea how to fix it.
Meanwhile, I was a semi-faithful reader of Holly Lisle’s blog and website. She has some really great free articles about the writing process, and I downloaded several of her ebooks to help with characterization and plot. I learned a lot from her. And then came her announcement that she was starting a new class – How to Revise Your Novel. It seemed like the exact thing I needed at the exact moment I needed it. And luckily, I got into her first beta class which started last November.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
Since this is getting a bit long – I’ll get into more details tomorrow about what I’ve learned and what I still have left to do.