Thursday, October 6, 2011

Revising Post 3

This past spring my daughter entered a local basketball challenge. The challenge: make 100,000 baskets by the deadline. Directions: count only made shots (not shots taken). Monetary prizes involved.

This past spring I began a manuscript. The challenge: finish that manuscript. Directions: write a fabulous story for middle graders. Monetary prizes involved??? I'm still figuring that out.

My daughter set a goal for herself: 1,000 made-baskets per day until she reached the 100,000 goal. No weekends off. No breaks because "it's too hot today." One thousand per day until she reached ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND.

As my daughter's basketball pounded the driveway outside, I pounded words into my manuscript inside. Her 100,000 made-baskets became my "finish this manuscript." And when I finished that manuscript, my goal became "revise this manuscript."

Basket by basket my daughter made it to 100,000. Word by word I wrote a manuscript. And word by word I am revising that manuscript. I have four (of the 189 original) pages left in this first revision. Four!! FOUR!!!! That's less than the number of toes I have on one foot!

Should I throw a party when I'm done? Nah. Revision is a many-layered thing. But my story is closer to where it needs to be than it was. Are you in the game? If you're revising, how's your journey? If you're drafting, how goes the story?


  1. I disagree! I think you should throw a HUGE party! And I'm revising too, and tearing my hair out. BTW, your daughter is amazing.

  2. Barbara! Way to go! Just today I am looking at a middle grade novel. So the journey of revision starts today. The trick for me is keep my eye on that one and away from the shiny new idea. And way to go for your daughter too!!!

  3. I think it's so neat how you spurred each other on.

    Anonymous Marcia Hoehne, who can no longer comment on several blogs as herself with EITHER of her Google accounts. :(

  4. Jenny, maybe I should rethink the party and throw one for my writer friends who know how much work I've already put in but how much work is still left....

    Deb, yay! Revise away. Your comment about the shiny new thing reminds me of the classic RASCAL. Love that book.

    Anonymous Marcia, :-)
    My daughter's drive and dedication was amazing. She's no longer counting baskets but she still shoots outside everyday.

  5. Can't wait to read those four pages, plus all the rest. ;)

  6. I find it easier to critique than revise lately... but at least I am at last doing writerly stuff. :)
    By the way is your motivation contagious? I can use some. Way to go lady :)

  7. Congratulations!! This is an inspiring post! Xx

  8. I love this comparison. Congrats to both you and your daughter. I'm with Jenny, though. I think you should definitely celebrate. Revisions can be more daunting than a first draft.

    I just finished a rewrite of my novel a few weeks ago, so I know the feeling. Right now I'm waiting for feedback from a focus group of kids! That has me biting my nails right now. lol. In the meantime, I'm working on some short stories for fun.

  9. Kristen, the pages will be on their way soon!

    Akoss, perhaps my daughter should shoot some hoops in your driveway. She's good motivation.

    Emmy, thank you! I love that the inspiration spreads.

    Danika, revisions ARE daunting. Ooooo! Feedback from cool!


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