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Friday, July 10, 2009

Summer Revision Smackdown: July Revision Report #1

Welcome to the first July Revision Report - glad you could stop by! Pull up a chair, have some lemonade, and tell us how your week went. Really!

After a crazy summer cold (swine flu??) raged through my family, I wrapped up in a blanket and got to work, putting my YA novel (code name: CREED) through a third draft to clear out extra words and phrases, sentence-by-sentence. Here are the shocking stats:

First Draft: 85,665 words
Second Draft: 69,742 words
Third Draft: 66,215 words
Total chapters: 44

First Draft: 1 month plus four months (with about a year in-between)
Second Draft: 1 month
Third Draft: 1 week

Compare this to the first novel, which took about three years (granted, a baby showed up in there), three months to do a revision for my agent, and about one month to revise for my editor.

I hope the math holds true and the third book takes me...what, a couple of months? A week to revise? Well, a girl can wish!

Do Not Miss: Realm Lovejoy's comic about what it's been like to do the Smackdown.


  1. Wow! Holly, those stats are amazing!
    You are one whiz of a writer.
    I am very pleased with myself if I finish a novel draft in a year.
    As for my revision this week...I'm averaging 10 pages a day. If I can keep it up, I will reach my goal at the end of the month.


  2. Your whip must be smoking! My revising forty pages in one day is puny compared to your stats. I had to revise. I just received my group critique and next week I go to a week long writer's intensive, so I'm glad I polished some pages. That's wonderful news, Holly!

  3. I'm doing good with my work this week, especially considering I just got back from vacation. The Smackdown has helped me set priorities for the summer (But I do wonder if my studio will remain this messy through the fall and if I'll be able to handle it if it does).

    My big accomplishment of the week: I finished a re-visioned draft of a picture book manuscript this week (one of three of my goals for July). I definitely broke through some sort of revision glut with this one, which feels so great. The manuscript looked a LOT different when I had it critiqued in Nevada and at the SCBWI WWA Conference in May. I love the changes and am super excited about it. So Yay!

  4. Oh and --

    I love the stats, Holly. They are really satisfying to look at; I can only imagine how satisfying they must feel for you. I think I might have to look at stats for my own projects, good idea!

  5. The stats are inspiring!

    This week I got two illustrations done, so yay! (Plus, my new art computer is coming today!)

    I got 6000 words done. I'm excited to see where this first draft is going to go.

    Thanks for linking my comix, haha!

  6. Wow, Holly! Impressive, girl. As are the rest of you. I feel a bit of a slacker this week...the smackdown slackah! Darn. But I'm making progress, slowly but surely. I'm reading through the entire manuscript, pen in hand, working the puzzle. But once I'm through it, I think I'll have a full ms for others to read. Yip!

  7. Great stats Holly and everyone SmackingDown this week! Hum. . . I'm finally in the groove with my new novel (sequel to STEALING DEATH) and receiving scenes like dreams! I love it when the story begins to really speak. Trouble is we had to drive to Portland Monday -- came back Tuesday too late to write (mind fried) and since then I've been putting together a brochure in Publisher (not as artfully as Holly would do)but anyway I've been sweating over that to have it ready for 1000s of librarians at ALA Chicago. I'm flying to the windy city tomorrow. Egmont USA is wining and dining with the Egmont fall launch authors (I'm luckily one of them)doing meets and greets, book signings for STEALING DEATH, and will be at Newbery Banquet-- a lifelong dream!
    So today madly packing. All of this is writing related but no words down on newest novel this week.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ waves to all of you creative SmackDowners

  8. OMG. This week I had a meltdown of sorts and spent 24 hours wallowing in suckage. But then, the next day, I started feeling better.

    I did revisions on a picture book that goes to an editor next week, and wrote 1/2 of a scene I need to write for the novel-in-progress. So I would say I am behind, but no longer acting like an ass.

  9. Well, I met my goal for this week which was to complete the final revision of my YA novel and get it in to my agent. Done!

    Not being one to sit around and twiddle my thumbs, I am now writing short synopses of some of the writing ideas that have been niggling at me for the past year or so. My next goal is to decide which idea I will expand into my next novel.

  10. Yowza, it's fun to see the stats! Lots of impressive smacking down (smackdowning?) going on with everyone.

    My goals for this month involve concentrating on creating my current work-for-hire (graphic novel script) and fitting in the odd hour to keep going on the rewrite I started in June. So far, so good, as I'm still waiting for the green light on the script breakdown and so got to spend three solid workdays (that NEVER happens!) on the rewrite.

    I'd completed 4 full chapters last month, and this week I added 3 more, taking me *almost* to my new halfway point. I won't get nearly as far next week, so I am happy!

  11. It is so helpful having those timeframes of your revisions, Holly.

    A few months ago, I secretly emailed an author who did two revisions for an editor with whom I was working, to ask how long it took her. Because I had no idea.

    So, thanks for all that!!!

    It sounds like you're moving along--and picking up speed as you go!

    Don't you love cutting out? It's so much better than adding in.

    Anyway, spent 30 hours this week revising a YA suspense for an agent and an editor.

    I worked hard on continuity, since I just found out what that was (see blog).

    This week, I might be less of a writer and more of a mom. Since it's summer, and the kids are home, and everything.

  12. I'm about halfway done with my new chapter. Pretty decent week. Did some rough outlining for a number of chapters too.

    Was hoping to finish my chapter tonight before I posted but didn't. Leaving tomorrow for conference, hoping to get more done before I leave and en route.

    Have a great week everybody. Be in PT on the 18th on Jolie. Try to give you a call or yell out the window or something.

  13. Oh and HOLY CRAP HOLLY!

    That is very encouraging to see. I hope it gets easier for me as I go on. I'd say you'll be whipping yourself this week. Great job!

    And good job to everybody else too!

    Say, I've been meaning to ask. Do the facebook smackdowners have more fun than the SRS bloggers? Are we missing out on wild, late-night facebook SRS parties and stuff? Just wondering.

    ; )

  14. Ah, Jennie! Less of a writer and more of a mom! I so know how that feels...as I'm sure many do!

    Okay, Ben! You better have a super time at Haystack! Will we hear from you while you are there? Please say hello to Arthur for me. And, let's definitely try and get together when you are in PT.

    Facebook vs. SRS Blogging...I think it all wraps together, but the action's on the blogs.

    But, Ben! Seriously!?! Why are not on Facebook and Twitter? Why, why, why?

  15. I'll try to check in and maybe even post, but we'll see. I'm kinda a "in-the-moment" type of guy, and get a little caught up.

    I will certainly say hi to Arthur for you, and it's on in PT.

    As for facebook, I don't know... I've been resisting it for a long time. It hasn't been easy ignoring my old friend's requests. Maybe a little.

    As for twittering... No way. Way too many opportunities for my equivalent of the "late night drunk call". I suffer from foot-in-mouth disease and another one called, INAPPROPRIATENESS. I try to limit my opportunities to ruin my reputation. Whatever's left of it. Sorry about yet another comment off track!

    HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYONE! wish me luck...

  16. Holly, Those are some awesome numbers!
    I'm impressed.

    I was surprised this week to discover the end of my draft is on the horizon. Dare I say that I will get it done this coming week? We shall see.

    I did run into a strange situation yesterday when I realized one crucial scene in my novel could go in three very different directions and still lead nicely into the next scene. Now I have to choose one. Oh the agony!

  17. Holly, incredible stats! Someday....my week fell apart. First part, out of town for Women's Book Club and then the second have highly distracted by my sick cat. Leaving agin for the coast so my goal for this week is to get the revision piecs ready for my writing group before I leave town.

  18. Fantastic, Holly, you are so inspiring. I did not do well, being sick and all but hope to really kick it this week!