Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Essential Revision Supplies

I'm in the middle of my first past revision for the second book in the Sweet Venom trilogy, which is due in to my editor June 1st. Although my writing and revising process tends to change from book to book, there are a few essential supplies I must have in order to get through it.

Taking Notes1. Sticky Notes — I use these, in various colors (sometimes color-coded by type of comment, sometimes by character, like in Sweet Venom) to: mark my daily page goal, flag the first pages of chapters, and to add large sections (a sentence or more) to the manuscript. Right now, I'm using green ones for Grace's notes, orange ones for Gretchen's, and pink ones for Greer's.

The highlight of my day2. Highlighters — These are mostly for fun. I'll either highlight the chapter title (color-coded to which girl's POV I'll be in for that chapter), use them to mark up my countdown calendar (green for writing days, orange for revising, pink for days off when I can get life stuff done), or just to pretty up pages of notes in my book notebook.

Pens and pencils3. Pen and Pencil — These are for the real work. For marking directly on the manuscript page, I use a mechanical pencil (Pentel in .9mm lead, if you want to be specific) so that I can erase and rewrite (over and over again) as I'm trying to get the line just perfect. For longer additions on the sticky notes, I use a pen (Uniball Vision Elite in micro) so it doesn't smear when I smooth the sticky note into place.

009.365: Binder of DOOM!4. Manuscript — I feel like an eco-fraud every time I get my manuscript printed out for my revision pass. But I have discovered that my brain just does not process revisions in the same way on the screen as I do on the printed page. And I do get the manuscript printed on recycled paper, to offset the waste. I contain the manuscript in a big white 3-ring binder with a cover page that has the working title of the book.

So that's what I need to get through my revision process. Do you have any special supplies that you absolutely must have can't live without while you're writing/revising/doing homework?




Debra Driza said...

I tried the sticky notes once...not sure they worked for me, but at least I FELT organized for a change! :D

TinaFerraro said...

I'm finishing up a revision, too, and for me it's a combination of printed motes, highlighting pens, and hours and hours of staring at the screen!

Meredith said...

That actually seems really fun to me! I love organizing and surprisingly I've never really tried organizing my stories like that. I should try it!

Mint Tea and A Good Book

nymfaux said...

I LOVE pretty colored post-its and highlighters!!!

But I think I would have to coordinate the highlighter and post-it colors, otherwise it might get extra confusing ;)

Jessica said...

I finally got some colored highlighters and I've always used sticky notes and colored pens to write notes in the margins. Color coding really helps me keep things straight in my head. Love it!

Jessica E. Subject said...

I use sticky notes and highlighters on my manuscript, but I prefer the red pen verses any other color and the pencil. I also need to chew gum so I don't grind my teeth or bite my tongue.

Senator said...

Dearest Tera, what you posted was basically "writing porn" Seriously, I saw the neon post-its and pens and I drooled. :P

I have a pen and paper at hand ALL THE TIME. I feel very exposed without them.

Heather Davis said...

Yes - I love the sticky note flags, so I can point to places where I need to make a change, etc. And, I love a good old fashioned pencil, so I can mark all over the pages without restraint. I'm finding that I'm printing out less on paper these days though, which is a weird shift to the digital world for me. Getting edits electronically is still kind of weird! :)

stephhale said...

I also print out the finaled manuscript. My eyes just don't catch mistakes on the screen like they do paper. :)