Thursday, October 24, 2013

Revisions! Thinking Again...

Thinking Again--Revision!

I’m trying something new on Twitter and Facebook--keeping track of my revision process for my newest book TRUTH BE TOLD. I love revisions. It’s a real joy to get to the end of the first draft of novel—sometimes it feels as if it will never happen!—and then get to go back and unearth the book I mean to write.  I usually cut about 10,000 words. I look for logic, and poetry, and the stakes, and continuity, and motivation. I have a yellow stickie on my computer—it says: “Hook, stakes, beautiful writing.”

So day by day, via twitter and Facebook, I’m posting where I am and what I am learning.  If you miss episodes of TV shows, you can go to On Demand to catch up. Here’s my version of On Demand for Girlfriends readers—what I’ve posted for the past week or so.
 The Facebook versions are longer, of course, but it’s fun to try to capture a moment in 140 characters—it’s revisions after all! And it’s all about keeping it tight.

.    #WRITINGTRUTHBETOLD abt new #thriller in progress, TRUTH BE TOLD. Let's share the journey via this hashtag!! 

#WRITINGTRUTHBETOLD When I meander, it means I haven't decided on scene's goal. So--delete all that doesn't get me there.


#WRITINGTRUTHBETOLD Revisions! Sometimes I move the cursor, see where it lands, and see if I like it. Try it.  Fun & useful.     

#WRITINGTRUTHBETOLD Revisions! Narrowed his eyes, narrowed her eyes--HOW many times can THAT happen? ALL have to go.
    #WRITINGTRUTHBETOLD Oh, oh, I had a moment of THIS STINKS! But I keep a little writing journal, I know this happens each time.

#WRITINGTRUTHBETOLD I am working on logic. Why did Lizzie do that? If she's inconsistent, I am still unclear on her goals.


#WRITINGTRUTHBETOLD Ah HA. Making progress. Fixed a whole flabby scene by amping the verbs--and focusing on intent.


#WRITINGTRUTHBETOLD Fixing typos and taking out "had" &"was" = small potatoes. Maybe it'll help get to the big potatoes.


#WRITINGTRUTHBETOLD Yesterday I had a good idea. I bet I will have one today. One good idea a day--just one--will be fine.


#WRITINGTRUTHBETOLD One good idea is like putting a drop of iodine in a glass of  water. It instantly colors everything.

#WRITINGTRUTHBETOLD Taking a main character-and making her consistent. Is she a real person? Can I make you understand her?

#WRITINGTRUTHBETOLD I'll go through her POV only..and see if her story holds together. Logical? Compelling? Believable?


#WRITINGTRUTHBETOLD   Ellipses and dashes, away with 'em!. How could there be so many? Almost never neccessary...sigh. 

#WRITINGTRUTHBETOLD At start of each scene, I'll clarify the setting and the POV. If I don't, reader is lost!

 Come join me every day for the updates! On Facebook at HankPhillippiRyanAuthorPage and on twitter at hank_phillippi 
My latest book, by the way, is THE WRONG GIRL--What if an adoption agency was reuniting birth parents with the wrong children?

Do you dread revisions? Or to you enjoy them, as I do? And what are your revision secrets?


  1. Hey really i love your review a lot. This post looking amaze. I'm very glad to inform you that surely you will get more number of fans
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  2. Hank, what a cool thing to do! Your revision process sounds *amazing*...and thorough! (Whoops, I ellipsised.) Me, I don't dread revisions at all. As far as I'm concerned, it's the literary equivalent of making myself look better before I leave the house. Who doesn't want to do that?

  3. You've caught me at exactly this place! Love your sticky note idea. I'll be honest. I'm going to steal it! Great post!

  4. Hank whatever works for tackling those revisions really works for you because you are an incredible writer, and I've had the rare privilege of watching your writing develop from great to amazing. But I have to admit that your solution is a novel :) Idea. I can't wait to read your next novel.

  5. Aw...thank you! And Lauren, exactly! xoo

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