You want me to do what to my book?

I have revisions to do. And a day job. Now I don’t have any trouble doing revisions, though there be many, because I am perfectly aware that they always (so far) have made for a better book. But. You knew there was one coming, right? See, here’s the problem. The revisions need to happen, and by a certain date. But They seem HUGE. And really, I’m not sure that they are. But when I look at them, I feel like I’m a mouse looking up an Everest chunk of gouda and longingly wondering if my toilet needs cleaning because that would be a reasonable excuse not for doing my revisions, just at the moment.

The trouble in part is my day job. Right at the moment, it’s very time consuming. So I spend a lot of my time with my head there. And when my head is there, it isn’t in revisions. Not that I’m not having tremendous fun with the day job–I mean, I’m teaching a course on vampire lit. I mean, I’m having a blast with it. But it still means that I don’t have chunks of time to attack the novel, and I can go for several days without any time at all to hack at it. And my mind then once focused, is easily distracted. (I’m reminded of a friend in grad school who did the best Homer Simpson imitation . . . “I’m Homer from Borg. I am here to assimila . . . oh! Donuts!”) See random tangent. I need a tee-shirt.

So what I’ve done is clear off my desk. And then came and wrote this blog. And then sort out my notes. And then go over to LJ and to MySpace. And then open up my documents. And then go over to phonezoo. And finally, I’m about ready to give it a start. Wish me luck. But wait . . . I could dust something . . .

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  1. 1. Simon Haynes

    I’ve been saving the printed drafts of this latest book, each to a manila folder. When I’ve handed the final-final in, I’m going to post a photo of the stack, which is currenly 12″ high. And in that stack, 80% of the pages are covered with red ink.

    I’ve come to accept that I’m a perfectionist. I don’t think there are any other excuses for it.

  2. 2. Kristine Smith

    Been there. Live there. Should buy a house there.

    Best of luck getting started. I know that’s hard.

  3. 3. Diana Pharaoh Francis

    But don’t you think tent camping with all those grizzly bears around there is much more exciting?

  4. 4. Diana Pharaoh Francis

    Simon–heh. I dare not keep such drafts. I fear the height of such gracelessness.

  5. 5. Sarah Prineas

    All that distraction and LJ reading stuff–it’s all legitimate prewriting activity.

    Or so I like to tell myself.

    Good luck with the revisions!!

  6. 6. Simon Haynes

    Diana – I’ve kept most of the printed drafts for all my novels. Rather a lot of them, by now.

    For one book launch I took a hundred or so marked-up pages from a draft of the novel being released, put a sticker on with the date and a line explaining what it was, then signed and laminated them all. Everyone who bought a book got a signed, hand-edited page from the draft. And a year later, the store that hosted the signing is STILL handing out laminated pages!

    It wasn’t much, but it was a unique memento.

  7. 7. Maria V. Snyder

    Di – I feel your pain and would write more encouraging words…but…my floor needs to be swept…and…..

    Simon – LOL – love the idea of the laminated pages!

    I keep the printouts of previous drafts, too. But they are used for writing notes, and lists, and my kids color and draw on the clean side. Once, my son was at my sister’s and she gave him paper to draw on. He ran to me with the paper held aloft as if it was the holy grail and say in complete wonder, “Look, Mom! It’s white on BOTH sides!” My reply, “Don’t get used to it.”

Author Information

Diana Pharaoh Francis

Diana Pharaoh Francis has written the fantasy novel trilogy that includes Path of Fate, Path of Honor and Path of Blood. Path of Fate was nominated for the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award. Recently released was The Turning Tide, third in her Crosspointe Chronicles series (look also for The Cipher and The Black Ship). In October 2009, look for Bitter Night, a contemporary fantasy. Diana teaches in the English Department at the University of Montana Western, and is an avid lover of all things chocolate. Visit site.

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