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Monday, July 25, 2011

Speaking to Crows in Pig-Latin

You know you've been revising too long when you have this conversation with someone:

Sean-- What did you just say?

Me-- I said, "Ut-shay up-yay upid-stay irds-bay."

Sean-- Huh?

Me--I told the crows to shut-up in Pig Latin.  They are being far too noisy outside.  I am trying to concentrate.

Sean--Why Pig-Latin?

Me--Why not?  (mumbles to self as I open the fridge to find the remnants of over cooked* roast beef from last night.  Why not Pig-Latin?  It's not like they were going to understand anyway.  Sheesh.)

So, yeah.

I've been talking to crows and revising.

This is what revising looks like:

Notes to self on pages that aren't working right...lots of arrows and such. Makes me feel like I'm doing something when I make an arrow.

The dreaded yellow legal pad.  This is where I write down a brief note about what happens in each chapter.  (Shh..I  write the whole story as one giant story pretty much and divided it into chapters later.  So I really have no recollection of WHEN something happens to a character (as in WHAT CHAPTER) until I make a little cheat sheet for myself.)  Cheat sheet is four pages long.  (55 chapters.  Don't worry.  They are short.)

So, you can see why my poor brain is a jumble and I find myself talking to birds, can't you?  (And crows, if you are reading this, you could help the whole situation by being a little quieter.  Just sayin')

I will be done with this round** before I sleep tonight. That is a promise.

And then I will look like this:

Art by Jennifer Plecas...totally captures my future mood!


*over cooked the meat because I wasn't paying attention....revision and all that.
**These revisions are not for The Seven Tales of Trinket.  That is off to copy editing!  Yay.  These revisions are for something new.


Hardygirl said...

Okay, I am inspired by your yellow legal pad. That is exactly what I need. I love writing with a PEN and drawing little arrows and marking things out . . .

I've got a revision I'm working on too, and I badly need to deconstruct it.

But pig latin is too complicated for me . ..


erica and christy said...

Wow - that's quite the system you have! And my chapters are always really short, too. Congrats on finishing the round!

storyqueen said...

SF-I HAVE to have something to write on at first when I am revising, for I am far too afraid at that point to touch the actual document!

E and C-I didn't really intend for the chapters to be so short. They just kind of ended up that way.

Sarah said...

Haha! I like putting arrows on my notes for things, too :)

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

In case you wondered, that deleted comment was an exact copy of the first one. I'm not sure how it duplicated itself. (I'm just always curious about deleted comments. So I thought I'd explain . . .)

Anonymous said...

It's fun to see the actually handwritten work of a writer. Arrows and all.

I could never talk pig-latin. Takes me way to long to figure it out.

Hopefully those pesky crows will leave you alone, now that you've explained the situation. That is if any of them read your post.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

This is too funny! Probably because I can relate. Burned food, talking to distracting animals--it all makes sense. I love revising, but it does take up all of my attention and does make me, um, a little nutty sometimes.

MG Higgins said...

I love seeing other people's messy notes. They make me feel like I'm in good company. My favorite arrows are the ones that go to the back of the page and include stars.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Ahhh, revision. Just lovely. I think if it doesn't make you talk to crows in pig latin there must be a problem.

Anne Spollen said...

Lol, great post. Revision does make you nuts. I use the legal pad and arrow system, too. It makes me feel like I'm in charge.

Just wondering ~ did the crows listen?

Janet Johnson said...

LOL! I love that you talk to bird in pig-latin. It makes perfect sense to me!

And so fun to hear about your process. It never ceases to amaze me at the many different ways there are to craft a novel.

Jess said...

I know that some people might not find it as amusing as others, but I really think there should be a Seinfeld-esque sitcom based on writers. That whole moment with you talking to a crow in Pig Latin and mumbling to your legal pad would be an episode~ I'd totally watch and appreciate it :) Thanks for another smile Shelley!

storyqueen said...

Sarah-Without arrows, I'd be lost! haha!

Susanne-Remarkably enough, the crows must speak pig-latin, for no sign of crows for three days. Hmmm.

Cynthia-yes, revising is so all-consuming.(But I don't love it...shhhhh.)

MG-I love the stars, too! Sometimes, I use little stickers instead of stars so it will pop on the page. I star stuff I really don't want to forget.

Carolina-too true!!

Anne-perhaps it's the name "legal pad" that just sounds so forceful. (Kind of want to try an illegal pad sometime, though...)

Janet-uh-oh..if I am making perfect sense to you, then you had better worry!

jess-I would SO watch a Seinfeld-type of writers show!!