- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 4015 KB
- Print Length: 125 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1983340383
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07F7DV8NW
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,278,495 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Surviving Revision: How One Writer Finished What She Started Kindle Edition
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Kris is a very generous author to share what she has in this book. She underlines her own struggles and expectations and the amount of commitment required comes across strongly. Writing the first "vomit" draft is one thing, knocking into shape for a discerning readership is certainly another. Kris used this process to revise her novel "The Sinking of Bethany Crane" which is a superb book, seeing what went into making it as rich as it is has been a great learning process for this particular reader.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
2. What do potential readers need to know most about the topic? Revision is not editing. I'm glad she stated that right at the beginning. Editing is cleaning up what you've already revised. I find that I like editing much more than revising; however, I realized that some of my “revisions” I wasn't categorizing as such, and putting a new name to them helped make them more fun.
3. Was the material well-researched and logically organized? It was very logically organized, chronologically moving through a revision course she references throughout the work. In fact, I was surprised that so much of this story was in response to what she was learning from someone else. I'm glad she was honest enough to share that there were times she didn't understand or had trouble with the system being taught and had to figure it out on her own or ask in the forum for help.
4. Did you agree with the thesis? Yes, though finding the thesis was a little tricky, as there are two prologues, and then the first chapter starts right in with Week 1 of her journey. I believe the thesis is the last paragraph of the first prologue: “I hope you will be encouraged that revising the first draft of a novel is possible and find a helpful morsel or two you can apply to your own creative quest as you finish what you have started.” I definitely think this objective was obtained.
5. Is there humor or personal narrative in the book? The majority of this book is personal narrative, sharing examples from her own work and processes on her journey through the revision of her first novel. There were a few humorous phrases, also, which I enjoyed immensely. I think my favorite was: “... a patient friend who talked me down from the logline ledge...” For writers who have ever tried to summarize their book in one sentence, this was a golden analogy! (And alliterative—I loved it!)
6. For whom would you recommend this book? Anyone thinking about writing a novel, especially those who already have, should read this very quick but very helpful book.
7. Who will not like this book? Only writers proud enough to think they don't need to change anything about their story will not like this book. Also, those who are looking for a step-by-step checklist, such as, “Do this, then that, this these.” This is not that kind of workbook.
8. Why did you give it the star rating you did? I really enjoyed the narrative aspect, getting her thoughts and feelings week-by-week through her revision process, and I will be revisiting this book for specific areas I need to work on in my own process. But I was a little disappointed in the short length and felt that there might be someone who would see a 5-star review and think it's the best (or only) revising help they'll need. It's not. It's helpful, definitely, but not on its own. It wasn't intended to be.
9. Favorite quotes:
“Rewriting is where the magic happens...”
“You can’t rewrite something that doesn’t exist.”
“Break too many promises and you lose readers.”
“Just because you call something a scene doesn’t mean it’s a scene. You’re going to have to back that claim up with some crucial scene elements that can be concretely identified.”
“...with the help of a patient friend who talked me down from the logline ledge...” This made me lol!
“It’s got to be easier to write toward something (even if it changes along the way) than to have to go back and cram the fifty thousand plus words you barfed into your first draft into one cohesive thirty-word sentence after the fact.” This is my philosophy: the better I can make my first drafts, the less revision I'll need to do; however, I've got to get something down, even if I don't know if it's good enough to keep.
“Conflict is king. Gotta have it in every scene, no exceptions.”
“Conflict glue. Yeah, I like it!” Yes, I like this analogy, too!
“My lesser characters were not lesser people.”
“Every room, every field, every back alley, every stand-alone structure and notated if I re-used any, and, if so, how many times.” I've never really given much thought to the setting, but this section made me realize I may need to rethink my beliefs about its importance.
“...first draft is for the writer and revision is for the reader.” Excellent!
There are so few books that delve into the effort that goes into revising that novel. As a novelist, I've been where Kris Loomis was when she finished her novel and wanted to revise. Having read The Sinking of Bethany Anne Crane, I loved reading the process that went into taking it from a "vomit draft" to the book I read and enjoyed! This book gave me numerous ideas about thinking through my own process, things I hadn't considered when I revised my own novels. Now those ideas will be floating around the back of my mind when I begin my next revision! I also love that she finished. That's another thing authors struggle with! I think if there were more books like this, books that made the whole process seem attainable, more authors would finish their novels and release them into the wide world.
I read The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane first, then read this book on how K. Kris Loomis handled her first attempt at revisions. I loved the insights it gave me into both the original novel and the incredible process an author goes through to give me that polished novel to read.
I highly recommend this book for authors & all readers of books.
I've gotten used to some Audible novels having perhaps 10% tacked on for the next novel in the series. But having 30% (47 minutes) of fiction tacked onto a short non-fiction book? This was unprecedented and unwelcome. Bait-n-switch.