And now you're going to rip it to shreds. But before we begin carving up that MS like a Christmas ham, we need to make sure we've got everything in order. So just what supplies will you need? Let's break out our...
Unless you want to peel your eyelids away from your burning retinas, you're going to have to find a way to minimize the effects of staring at a computer screen for hours on end and sadly, tears of frustration simply won't do the trick. Check out this cool download Michelle tweeted about last week. The F lux application automatically adjusts your screen display based off of the time of day. It saved me from having to peel my contacts out over the past few days and the best part is, it's free.
|You could always rock the sunglasses at night look for late night computing.|
3. Songs of Encouragement
You might have been blessed with some awesome writing besties, but at this stage you're not quite ready for betas. While they can send you smilies and cheer you on on-line, ultimately you are the one who has to keep your butt in that chair and not give in to the temptation to fling your computer into a wall and run away to a foreign country, change your name, and take up looming.
I personally prefer songs such as Eye of the Tiger and the like, but you should create your own playlist based off of your tastes.
4. Red Pens
Believe it or not, my worst grades in school weren't in math (though they were a close second). They were actually in handwriting. My worksheets were always returned with horrifying red slashes, marks and a giant D at the top. This is probably why to this day, I still prefer print over cursive (which I do just fine now, thank you very much). Nevertheless, this color is one that stands out and draws attention since it's associated with signs marking danger and the emotion of anger. If you're working from a printed manuscript, all that red you will scribble might seem intimidating, but it could help by standing against the white page and black lettering.
|At least I had perfect attendance, Mom.|
5. A Level Head
You're a writer. This might seem like a lost cause already. But do your best to push your emotion and connection to the story to the side and really look at your manuscript critically. I know, I know. That one snippet of dialogue is so utterly amazing that entire books will be written about it alone. But if it doesn't contribute to or push the scene forward, it's gotta go. Keep an open document to copy/paste things like this in. You never know if they might find a better home somewhere else in the manuscript.
6. A Magical Time Stopping Machine
Time can be your worst enemy in revisions. It can take weeks--months--to turn a draft into beta-ready material. But even once it reaches that point, you will likely have even more editing and revising ahead of you. (Unless you're one of those people who can whip out a damn-near perfect story in no time flat that everyone thinks is splenderific. If that's the case, I'm sorry. We can't be friends.) It's hard to get that story into shape if you can't find more than a few minutes here and there to work on it. Some days things are flowing as smooth as syrup, while other times you spend an hour on those few sentences that keep eluding you. Do your best to block off a few hours to really dig in and when life is too crazy to spare you that, work on untangling the parts that have been giving you trouble so that when you get to sit down with the manuscript again you know precisely what you need to get done.