Sunday, August 21, 2011

This is Your Brain on Revision

How I revise a novel:

As you can see, I start out optimistic and thereafter oscillate between joy and despair.  It is possible for this pattern to continue indefinitely.  What does your revision process look like?


  1. A hell of a lot like this. Except I would substitute the shrugging obsession with having all of my characters curl their mouths into small smiles. It's embarrassing how many times that gets in.

  2. Thanks! I used to have people grinning too much. I got rid of that tick, and now it's "shrugging" and taking "deep breaths." Now I keep a word file of all the phrases I overuse, and when I'm done writing, I do a "find" for them and go through hacking them out. And cringing.

  3. Love the graph! That's me exactly. :) And I love that you keep a file of your overused phrases. very smart.

    My characters shrug like they've invented it. :)

  4. Ha! I think shrugging like they've invented it makes it less trite. ;) I picked up the "overused phrase file" idea from someone else, but I can't remember who anymore. If only my overused phrases would stay put and quit mutating for every book...

  5. This made me laugh out loud. I'm totally printing this to stick by my computer.

  6. Hahahaha! I related to all of it! Especially "Perfect!" and "That was the worst idea ever" in quick succession. Brilliant! Loving your blog.

    1. Thanks, Talia! It's sad how many times I go through that genius-stupid-genius-stupid cycle.

  7. I can so relate!

    Debbie Herbert