Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wrestling With the Control Freak

My inner muse is a real piece of work. Let's call her, Control Freak. We had numerous throw-downs this past week, while working on our agent revisions. I say our because if I don't, she'll beat me up, again. Between you and me, she has issues. Control issues. Emailing our revisions yesterday, was like tearing off her fingernails, one by one, with a pair of pliers. Slow and painful. 
 
Me: That'll do.
Control Freak: No.
Me: Save as.
CF: No.
Me: C'mon, we've made so many changes, now we're back to square one.
CF:  I don't want to disappoint Kathleen. Do it, now type.
Me: But Kathleen said "not to change too much of the story we're already in love with.
CF: *grinds teeth* I said, type.
Me: Yes, ma'am.

I type, revise, read, type, revise, and read and read and read.


Me: There. Happy?
CF: No.
Me: I think we should send it to her and get her thoughts. It's our first round of edits. 
CF: No.
Me: I'm saving as.
CF: No.
Me: I'm attaching the document in the email.
CF: No!

Inner Control Freak wrestles me to the ground where we proceed to fight over sending our revisions. I escape her fists of steel and hit "send".

And then, I look at the document one last time and discover I'm not happy with a verb I used in a scene. Great.


Me: See what you've done! *folds arms in anger*
CF: I told you not to send it. *shakes head*
Me: Ugh, I'm a loser.
CF: I could've told you that. All you had to do was ask.

***

How do you know when you're finished (absolutely) with revisions? Is it a feeling or do you just know? Do you wrestle with your inner muse about knowing when done is really done?

26 comments:

  1. The line where you say you are back to square one? That's when I know I am done! When the text starts reverting back to what it was in the first draft, I'm done.

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    1. I have to agree, Alex. First drafts are messy, but the original message just needs to be refined.

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  2. Ah-hahaha!!!! Oh my gosh... this is SO ME right now... I can't even tell you... !!!!!!!!!

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    1. Funny how we all feel the same during this process! Hope all goes well for you!!

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  3. Ha! Mine is generally a typo. "What? How did I miss that missing o?"

    Maybe you never know when you are finished. Maybe it happens when your CP says "Send it now!"

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    1. I like to use my daughter for typos. LOL, she's the best at catching them. :)

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  4. Glad you still have your sense of humour, Candilynn! I've never finished revisions, so I wouldn't know! D

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  5. That's funny. I'm still not sure who won. I'd probably be the same way.

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    1. It's a constant battle. With her, it would never get sent.

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  6. The picture is perfect! And seeing your more recent FB post, seems like it turned out fine :0)

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    1. Yes, it all worked out. Now, on to more revision notes. :)

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  7. Glad it turned out fine. All you can do is your best. Polish a bit then let another you trust read. May your sales be high when it's sold.

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  8. Perfection is elusive. At some point, you have to let go and say, "It's as good as it's going to get. For now."

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  9. Don't panic... We all go through this. I can't begin to tell you how many times I STILL go back to previous "done" work and change things... In all honesty, we, as writers, are growing all the time and since many of us are relatively new writers, we are still "finding" our style. Even JK Rowling's style changed from book one to even book two.. and so on. Our experiences change us, so you see, I believe we would NEVER be done.

    HOWEVER. WHen I am SOOOOO sick of looking at it ... then you are done. At least for a year or two. LOL.

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    1. Thanks for your insight, Michael! I got to a point a few days ago when I was "sick" of looking at it. Then I received her notes last night, and was revived all over again. :)

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  10. Oo. I've watched a CP go through edits. *shakes head* It's not pretty.

    I think you just know. But, of course, as the person above me said, writers are always growing and evolving in their skills. I think we have to do our best and let it go. Then move on to the next thing.

    I'm sure our readers are not going to worry over 'that verb' like we do. They're not going to know it was every different. They're just going to read our story and enjoy it. ;)

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    1. The verb thing is an easy fix. I'm glad it's back to me, so I can fix it now! As my daughter said this morning, everything we're doing to the ms is only making it better. I'm keeping that thought in mind as I go through this next round. Thanks!

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  11. Hey Candilynn. I think your Inner Muse and my Inner Critic were taught by the same Mistress of "How best to distress your writer". I have troubles keeping Inner Critic chained behind a steel door reinforced with barbed wire.

    Yeah...it gets bad lol!!

    But as far as knowing exactly when you are done, I can't say that I know. I've started realizing that there won't be an exact "done" moment of perfection. I read it one last time for the easy fixin's then send it so that a fresher set of eyes can bleed that baby out for the things my biased eyes and mind miss. Then I do it again.

    Every book I read, whether traditionally, small press or Indie published has something in it that I find could have been done differently, even a tiny change. Just have to learn to let it go.

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  12. That was funny! I'm still working on "finishing" a book. There's always something saying "could be better", but you could twiddle with it forever and you'd be denying the world what is no doubt a great story! Twiddle... that's a word, isn't it. Like twiddling your thumbs. OK, I used it wrongly. Here's a great example of a first draft comment!

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  13. nothing is ever perfect so editing is never over until your editor says it is. even the big names have mistakes in their finished, multi million print novels...its being satisfied with it as is, or sick of reading it. i feel a piece is good if i can read it like a reader, enjoy the story and i dont see mistakes

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  14. LOL, you'll rarely ever win in a wrestling match with CF. When do you know you're done editing? Never. My book is published and I want to go back...

    Have a great weekend, Candilynn!

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  15. I always find something wrong with what I sent, submitted, or posted. I hit the button, go back and read it again and find a typo or say, "Why on earth did I say that? That was stupid!" Which I'll do as soon as I hit Publish here. I loath myself (Friends reference)!

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  16. I haven't gotten that far yet, but I do imagine it's hard wrestling our inner control freak. I guess you just have to trust your instincts and the opinions of agents and CPs.

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