Revisions, Ho!

It’s ya girl’s 29th birthday today. Howdy doody from E.M.-one-year-older-Anderson.


We are not here for birthday wishes. But it’s that time of year, and I am a child, so I was going to mention it.

Exciting news afoot, namely that Wizards in Space, Issue 5, had its launch party this weekend and is due out this month! I’m so ready to see my poem in print. In a lit mag. In a lit mag that isn’t attached to a university I attend. In a paying lit mag that isn’t attached to a university I attend.

Cover image for Issue 5 from

Plus I’m ready to run around campus, shoving it in everyone’s faces like “LOOK WHAT I DID ISN’T IT BEAUTIFUL.”

Equally exciting – maybe, I think, at least after months of letting Edna & Co. breathe a bit – I’ve once again started on the revision process.


In case you don’t remember, we’re now through three drafts of the Chosen Grandma story. I had intended to give the book back to readers after completing Draft 3, but then I actually completed Draft 3, and…no. Definitely not. It ballooned back up to 121,000 words, despite scene combinations I thought would result in fewer words. And it was possibly even more word-vomity, in its way, than Draft 1. Yikes.

Luckily, I had ideas for it, so I decided to do a Draft 3 1/2 before readers take another whack at it.

Things are going surprisingly well so far, but that’s probably because I’m not actually, like, revising yet. I’m going through Draft 3, doing line edits anywhere that doesn’t require bigger edits, and making note of places that do require bigger edits. Doing it this way helps me keep track of what’s happened in the story so far. I catch inconsistencies more readily; I know where I’m going and I know where I’ve been.

I also know which phrases I’ve already used, which is starting to get embarrassing.

How many times can my characters hesitate? 63 times in the course of 469 pages, evidently. And apparently characters looking (or not looking) at each other is my favorite way to show emotion: they gaze at each other 44 times, stare at each other 52 times, look at each other 65 times, and avoid looking at or look away from each other 29 times. They “let out” breaths, sighs, sobs, and laughs 40 times.

And the word “then” shows up so often you can find it almost once a page.

Dearie me.

On the plus side, I feel pretty good about the fact that I’m noticing so much about my own writing. I still have to go back and rewrite the sections that need it, but I feel like I’ve gotten a lot done re: fixing up the writing itself. After readers get this draft and get it back to me and I h o p e f u l l y find that I’m done with developmental edits, I’ll be that much readier to clean up the writing again before diving into query-writing.


Honestly, though, I’m delighted to be back in this story, with these characters, no matter how much they look at/look away from each other or the fact that they hesitate so often it’s amazing they ever actually do anything. Seeing other writers post about their stories reminded me how much I love mine: it drove me crazy letting the story sit for so long, but it’s definitely benefited the revision process.

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11 thoughts on “Revisions, Ho!

    1. My copy actually showed up like the *day* after my birthday, so it was JUST BARELY early enough in the month that campus wasn’t shut down! So I got to run around and show a few people, at least!


  1. I believe that is among the such a lot vital information for me.
    And i am happy reading your article. But want to observation on some normal issues, The website style is great, the
    articles is truly nice : D. Just right process, cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It’s definitely been great to be back to Edna & Co. – I was really starting to miss them, especially seeing everyone else on Twitter tweeting about their characters! I’m pretty sure half my notes in the margins so far are just “OH MY GOD I LOVE THEM” underlined several times.


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