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Monday, April 19, 2010

Overheard in the Revision Room

My Inner Editor Harrison:  See kid, it's like this.  That first revision you did?  Well, that was for you, the writer.

Mutt (who is not really me, but will have to do since I couldn't find a picture of Indy and Short Round together....not that Short Round is like me either, but he is funnier.):  Tell me something I don't know.

Harrison:  I'm trying to, kid. That first revision was your chance to take that junky first draft and craft it into something that was close to your vision...or as close as you were likely to get...alone.

Mutt:  Now you're getting all confusing on me, professor. What do you mean by alone?

Harrison:  Stop combing your hair and listen, will you?  I'm talking about the second revision now.

Mutt:  THERE'S A SECOND REVISION?

Harrison:  Heck kid, sometimes there's thirteen of 'em.

Mutt:  (chokes and gasps)

Harrison:  That first revision, well, that was for you, the writer.

Mutt:  You already said that.

Harrison:  Want me to wipe that mouth right off your smirky face?

Mutt:  (shakes head no.)

Harrison:  The second revision...and all the revisions after that....well, kid, those are for the reader.

Mutt: The reader?

Harrison:  That's what I said, kid.  The reader.  And the only way to know how the reader is going to navigate your text is to get one....a reader I mean.  And then comes the most important part.  You still listening?

Mutt:  (nods)

Harrison:  You have to listen to what the reader says.  I mean, they are doing you a favor.  They are telling you stuff you'd never know without them.  Now, just to see if you were listening, tell me what I said.

Mutt:  Er, um, first revision = for the writer, second through thirteenth revision = for the reader.

Harrison:  Well done kid.  You just might make it out of this snake pit,   mine shaft,  er um, manuscript.

fin

hrh

16 comments:

Myrna Foster said...

Pick me! Pick me! *jumping up and down with hand in the air*

I could totally hear Harrison Ford's voice. Thanks, Shelley, for the entertainment and the good advice.

Kelly said...

Ha! Love it!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Gawd, that was good! This must be a day for revision. I just watched a vlog about revision that Laurie Halse Anderson put up. Much the same without your hilarity--and without Harrison, of course. Thank you. I loved it. And, you know, I'll always be your reader when you ask.
*slinks back to peek at revision*

Jessie Oliveros said...

Very clever. I wish I had Harrison Ford lurking around in my brain. Sometimes Colin Firth talks to me, but I think he talks to everyone.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Have fun in the snake pit :)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

You do an incredible Harrison Ford, Shelley!! I loved it. Could you pass him over to me next. I'd LOVE to hear him whispering to me as I nod off tonight. *sigh* :-)

Jackee said...

LOL! Could you be in funnier?!

And so true about the first one for the writer and the rest for the reader.

Thanks for the laugh today!

BTW... good points you brought up on my blog today. Nothing wrong with word verification, it's just easier when it's embedded not in another window after a commentor pushes publish.

Janet said...

Send Harrison Ford my way, please. You are right, you need more than just your eyes and ears to help in revising. Feedback is very important.

Carrie Harris said...

Snarf. Now I need to add a snake scene to my mannie, just for Indy.

Hardygirl said...

Sooo true! And, I'm finding out that the same thing is true for my illustrations . . . they are better after I've done the same scene more than once.

sf

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I could actually hear Shorty's voice in my head. (fortunately I saw the movie a few weeks ago).

Love it!

PJ Hoover said...

LOL! This is great, Shelley!

storyqueen said...

Myrna-If you are serious, let me know....

Kelly-thanks!

Tricia-I just went and watched the vlog. Good stuff. (Even without Harrison...) And I am sure I'll be asking again. P.S. How long until Sea Daughters comes up for air? (Nice metaphor use, no?)

Jessie-Colin Firth does NOT talk to me!!! So unfair. He probably talks to everyone but me....sob.

Sherrie-Well, it's not always fun, but I think I'll survive this one.

Shannon-Um, no. He's not for rent.

Jackee-Probably I could be funnier...a lot funnier, actually.

Janet-See, I don't want to go all territorial, but I kind of don't like to loan him out.

Carrie-I need to add a mannie to my snake...(I'm not making sense now...)

SF-I cannot even imagine the time it must take to revise illustration.

Stina-I heart Short Round.

PJ-Thank you, PJ.

Elana Johnson said...

So true. So, so true. The first revision is just so we, as writers, can stand to keep working on the book. :)

Kaylie said...

I agree. First revisions are to sort out what goes and what stays, and in what order.

Myrna Foster said...

I am serious. I would love, LOVE to read (and write all over) your story. I tried to find an email address on your profile, but didn't see one. I just added mine to my profile about a month ago.