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Thursday, June 18, 2009

SRS Lash Flash #3: Carrie Jones

Can you believe it's already Week 3 Lash Flash? Get ready for fantastic (and hilarious) revision tips from none other than Carrie Jones, author of the uber-popular YA fantasy, Need, and who just finished revising the sequel (so she's been in the trenches with us, folks). CuppaJolie's Lash Flash today is with Paula Yoo!

Carrie's other YA novels include Girl, Hero; Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape); and Tips on Having a Gay (ex)Boyfriend. (I really love a girl who uses a lot of parentheses, don't you?) You can visit Carrie at her blog, her website, and follow her on Twitter. Without further ado, here's a Lash Flash from Carrie...

Steps on Revising Your Stupid Novel Masterpiece

1. Decide to revise.
2. Think about pacing, characterization, plot, theme, style.
3. Type.
4. Get note cards.
5. Write notes on manuscript
6. Stare at notes
7. Stare at notes more. Decide to copy them onto note cards.
8. Go buy more note cards because you've lost your first set
9. Realize the dog ate the note cards.
10. Bring dog to the vet.
11. Write notes on note cards about important things.
12. Say this is going to help you visualize the story
13. Realize the story is pointless and has no pacing, characterization, plot, theme or style.
14. Cry.
15. Eat your note cards.
16. Realize note cards are yummy.
17. Realize that you will never be able to eat anything but note cards again because you will never revise this story/poem/novel/essay and therefore will never get paid.
18. Cry more.
19. Tweet about it.
20. Blog about it.
21. Write Facebook updates about your inability to revise.
22. Decide to do squats instead. Or maybe sit-ups? Anything.
23. Start all over again.
24. Buy more note cards.

Seriously? When I revise I go through the whole story looking at structure and then at image. I compartmentalize the big things that I need to fix in each manuscript. With each pass I focus on one main thing. The first is usually the structure. I think of each scene as a mini story with a beginning middle and end. Then I make sure the structure of the whole story works. It usually doesn't. Then I usually have to add in more description. Then I usually have to get rid of some dialogue. I make my characters talk way too much. I also look at the tag lines and shift them around so that they work. Finally, I edit the lines, look for continuity errors and typos. That's the very final pass.

So, that's my tip: Compartmentalize. Go one step at a time in your revision. Think of it like solving a puzzle, or a big intellectual challenge.

Thank you, Carrie! Smackdowners, come back HERE tomorrow to check in for Revision Report #3...


  1. Carrie's hilarious. Eating notecards!

  2. I loved Tips On Having a Gay ex-Boyfriend. True to voice these tips are hysterical and helpful. Thanks! Can't wait to read NEED.
    Shelley S.

  3. Carrie is my kind of girl (parentheses and all)! What about adding a number 25. Eat licorice...or better yet, use notecards made of licorice!

  4. NEED is fantastic! I loved it! All of the mystery and longing, plus it's hilarious, as you might expect from Carrie.

  5. Hysterical! Number one tip for revising--a sense of humor. Carrie, no wonder readers gobble up your books!