How I'll Be Spending My Summer Vacation

IMG_1402If I squint, I can just see the end of this book I’ve been working on for such a long time.  It’s there, misty and unformed, but close enough to touch — hopefully sometime in the next few weeks. After I’ve written those blessed last words  — The End — I’ll take a week or so off, and then start in on … revisions.

Yep.  “The End” doesn’t ever seem to mean the end.  It just means the beginning of the next stage. I always find it helpful when other writers share their processes, so here’s what I’ll be doing:

1) This novel has multiple POVs, so I’ll pull each one out, make it a single document, and work on making that voice as strong and consistent as possible. (See more here.) Starting my revision this way has the added bonus of making the manuscript seem fresh and new to my eyes.

2) I’ll put the manuscript back together and face down the abyss with the help of Elana Johnson, who gives my go-to advice on revising here. 

3) I’ve been sending the manuscript to my awesome first reader in chapters all year, and she’s been sending it back with comments. The proper response to anyone willing to help critique your manuscript is a big fat “Thank You!” but sometimes advice is hard to read. So I stick comments I might question in a separate folder and let them simmer there. I’ll do one last read through that folder, and be amazed at how much great advice she’s given me. That means another round of edits.

4) Time to send it out to my regular reader (if she’ll have me) plus a fresh pair of eyes.

5) Repeat.

That’s my summer vacation — what do you have planned?

Posted in

Liz Michalski


  1. Vaughn Roycroft on June 18, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Remarkably similar, actually. I’ve got comments from two mentors to combine, and I’ve been mulling their feedback for about a month. I did a scene chart, and mapped out each POV character’s goals, motivations, and conflicts for each scene. A few weeks ago I reached some broad conclusions, which gave me a goal for this revision. I’m adding a layer (sort of an internal motivation/conflict) to my primary protagonist, and so it has to be threaded through the entire story. I decided I could safely revise one scene per day, five days a week (some days more, some less, some not at all, but it seems to be working out). So, with 78 scenes, I’ll be done in mid-September. A final brush-up for my submissions package, and back in the game by October 1st. Just in time for our vacation!

    Good luck with yours this summer, Liz!

    • liz on June 18, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      Oh Vaughn, we shall be revision buddies. I’m planning on getting up early to work while the kids are asleep, so think of me as you are making that breakfast salsa! Hopefully we will both have time for beach walks and afternoon naps, too — the important stuff.

  2. Jan O'Hara (Tartitude) on June 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    I–I don’t know what I’m doing this summer. I have a few non-fiction external deadlines, but it’s likely our last summer to spend with my son. I’ll sound like a total slacker, but I’m not sure how much fiction will get written before the fall.

    You’re so close you should definitely get that draft done. Do eet. Having been teased with your first few chapters and loving them, I can’t wait to read it.

    • liz on June 18, 2013 at 9:26 pm

      Jan, I hear you. I’m bowing out of lots of stuff so I can spend time with my kids, particularly my daughter, before she heads off to middle school. I doubt my writing will ever change the world, but my being present will hopefully have an impact on my kids. Good luck with the deadlines, and I hope you manage to squeeze in a little bit of fiction writing, too. (And thanks for the kind words.)

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