Revising x 3 (Mini Q&A)

At this stage, I’m unable to think straight, but I’ve had some questions from friends and family and I want to answer them.

Question 1 – How’s it going, Yolandie? *nervous laughter* Added to the fact that I’m revising like a madwoman, it’s been an icky week on the sleep scale. AKA, I’m not getting any. Life as a mom, eh? This means I’m not as sharp as I want to be writing-wise, but hey, surviving. Someone should hashtag that.

How much do I write per day? Not counting blogs and other things, I can put out a good 1200 – 1500 words on a general day. I can totally live with that. On a good day, I deliver between 1800 and 2000. Without any distractions, 5000 plus. Yesterday, I wrote 116 words. The day before? Zero. MLIA.

That’s unfair though, because I’ve been revising the short again. And here’s the third question – how goes the short’s revision? I’m in the third round with that now, so no major changes anymore. A lot of it is reading and rereading, fixing the tempo of sentences (that’s a thing) and getting rid of repeated words/ideas.

Question four, how’s revising two projects at once treating you? OK, I guess. The problem is shifting my head from one protagonist to another.

This is the first time I’ve had to work on multiple revision projects at the same time. I’ve yet to discover ways to make transitioning between them easier. The issue isn’t only character voice and point of view, it’s also that the projects are written in different tenses.

You see, I decided long before submitting my short story that it would never be chosen, so I used the opportunity to experiment with everything I usually don’t touch. *Yolandie laughs forever* Hence, first person point of view and present tense, where my typical (and much preferred) story will be told in the past tense from a third person viewpoint.

I was shocked to learn I actually like writing in first person POV, but don’t tell anyone. 😛 Though I’m still not a major fan of reading first POV (nothing against you if you do, this is totally just my preference), in terms of writing – it’s easier to connect with the character, make no mistake.

Present tense was a horse of another colour. Yes, I talk and blog in present tense, but it’s a natural thing to tell stories in past, isn’t it? I won’t tell you what happened to me yesterday as if it’s happening right now. I also find that reading stories in past tense flows better.

With one exception.

Being in the now with a first person POV makes it unclear if the storyteller will survive whatever the story hurls at them. Anything can still happen. While when written in past tense, it’s clear that the viewpoint character must have gotten out alive to be able to share the story now. Makes sense?

Without giving any spoilers here, I didn’t want it to be clear at the start of my short that the protagonist survives. A good example of this mindset *SPOILERS INCOMING* is the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. If we read Tris’s story in past tense, her end would have been more difficult to swallow, because who’s narrating the story then?

Question five – what’s up with this major revision of The Physician’s Apprentice now, after three rounds of edits?

My first draft needed major work. I realise now that I sent it into the first round of editing WAY BEFORE it should have reached an editor. Nerine was gracious enough to help me, despite the shit I flung her way. Like a monkey. Other editors would have trashed my manuscript and I’d never have heard from them again, but she gave me loads of documents to better my writing, advice and free ass tips to polish a lump of coal into, well, something.

The result was a rewrite.

The story went into the second edit as a completely new manuscript. So, to make myself feel better, I deny the first edit’s existence. The second draft became my first draft, OK. 😀

I got good feedback after the second round. Nerine even said this about it:


My mind still explodes when I read that!

So, anyway. I revised for the third time and before sending it to her again, Nerine advised that I send the story to a second editor, Cat Hellisen, just for structural edits. This is basically to assure there aren’t any noticeable plotholes, that the characters stay in character, that the general flow is good, etc.

While the feedback from Cat was awesome and had me squealing too, she did recommend I end the story in book 1 at an earlier point (because you know how I suck at endings) and flesh out some of the secondary characters. AKA, work. But in the best of ways! I’m still blown away by some of her simple suggestions and how they’ve already enriched the world/story.

So, now that all of that exposition is out of the way, to answer the question. The major edit at this late stage is because I’m cutting my manuscript in half and expanding on some of the characters’ stories, leading up to my new ending. Everything after this new end becomes book 2, so nothing is lost. The story itself isn’t changing, it’s just gaining more meat. In a very real way, I’m changing some of my info dumps into actual scenes.

When I’m done with this revision, the manuscript will go back to Nerine and we’ll see what follows from there.

And I think I’m going to cut this babble short here. It’s not as if I can sit and blog all day long while I have dual stories open on my pc, begging to be revised. Ha. As if the munchkin will allow me to work while she’s awake.

Have a good weekend!



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A Study of Ash & Smoke
A Trial of Sparks & Kindling


2 responses to “Revising x 3 (Mini Q&A)”

  1. When you need to make the jump between stories. Get up from your chair. Walk around the room once clockwise, stop, then walk around the room in the opposite direction while you consciously climb into the story.
    Have fun, while you work. Have a pencil and paper and scrible a drawing of a scene if it is difficult before you start to write.
    Looking forward to the results.

    Mooi loop



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