Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mentorship with Angela - Part Two

Where to begin?

Maybe I can start with this. Angela at The Bookshelf Muse is putting in a lot of time an energy to work with me. And we're not strolling through a shady glen, we're running the Boston Marathon.

She has: done a complete line edit of my novel, written up complete notes about each character (their arcs and motives and inter-relationships etc.) written up complete notes on the elements of my novel (opening, dialogue, setting, voice and POV, style, plot, showing/telling, pacing/emotion, conflict, logic, echos, and resolution), written up notes on HOW to approach the actual revision process, PLUS, been available for chats and has answered all my questions.

All of this on top of everything else she does, like keeping up with her and Becca's fabulous blog, and being a wife and mother. I am totally in awe! (I think she's Wonder Woman in disguise.)

Anyway, it's getting down to the nitty-gritty for me. I have pages and pages (literally) of hand written notes, plus all the computer generated ones, which I am now beginning to organize into some kind of cohesive manner by thoroughly outlining my novel. As I outline each chapter I am inserting the notes where they need to go, so that when I get to the true business of rewriting, it will all pretty much be there in front of me, a road-map.

Here's a picture of my revision work space.

Yes, that's an ironing board. I use those pillows to prop up my back so I can sit cross-legged on the couch and have the ironing board pulled up close.

You can see all the different stacks of paper, the highlighters, the colored pens.

I'm doing this all by hand because I can "see" it better. And I write it all out with my favorite, a Clicker mechanical pencil, because I make mistakes and need to erase things all the time.

This is a real undertaking for me. Something new. I've had many moments where I thought I wouldn't be able to handle it, but now that I've got six chapters outlined with all the notes inserted I'm feeling a bit more confident. PARTICULARLY since I found a small but glaring time-line flaw that neither of us caught! (She pats herself on the back and looks smug.)

Be warned, I may soon be disappearing from the blog scene entirely for an indefinite period of time.

And if you haven't been, get thee hence to The Bookshelf Muse, right now, immediately. You will not soon come across another blog more loaded with practical writerly help.


  1. Bish, what a fantastic journey you've taken with Angela. Your book is going to be as crisp as freshly ironed linen when it's done (please do note the witty allusion to your ironing board!!!:)

    In January I'll be joining you in semi-blog hibernation, I'm gearing up to start my new novel, so blogging will have to come second!

    This really was a worthwhile prize and thanks for sharing the process!

    Judy(South Africa)

  2. Wow! That's awesome! You lucky duck! I'd give my right arm for a mentor!

    Keep plugging around. I hope you'll still be able to blog, because I'll miss you. But I understand how it goes. YOu need to do what you need to do to get things done.

    Good luck!

  3. That sounds simply amazing! You're one lucky mentoree! :D

  4. I think Angela is incredible - on so many levels! I'm thrilled you are getting so much wonderful advice and help with your WIP (and more than a little envious!). Should you disappear for a while, we'll all know why! :-)

  5. This is so friggin' cool! Thanks for keeping us filled in Bish.

  6. Congrats to you and Angela for all that work. Love the ironing board!

  7. Wow, when you put it that way, I just sound so awesome! Bish, will you do my promo when I need it one day? LOL

    Seriously though, the hero here is BISH. When she says Boston Marathon, she's not kidding. And she has handled every challenge I've placed in her path like a champion and someone who is determined to reach the finish line.

    Keeping in mind out three month timeline, I really want to make sure that she has some significant information to fall back on in the future. I think a lot of the brainstorming has taken place and now Bish can take things at a slower pace, working within a time frame and process that is comfortable to her. As we all know, revisions isn't easy, and it isn't fast. But Bish really planned well and I think she had a good handle of what she wants to accomplish. I'll be very excited to see how the story looks at the end of this revision pass.

    Thanks everyone for following this mentorship and to Bish for being such a great person to have in my life!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  8. Fantastic! What a giving mentor.

    Best of luck with all the revisions!

  9. Wow! Angela is so thorough!
    That is awesome that you are getting so many suggestions for your manuscript and you are diving right in!

  10. Wow, you are both doing such fantastic work. And that's the best use I've ever seen an ironing board put to! :D

  11. Based on this inspiring blog post, I'm heading over to The Bookshelf Muse. Thank you.

  12. Wow. Amazing. Thank you for letting us into your world for a peek, it really keeps me inspired. I'm just on the first round of revisions for my first novel and was feeling a bit lost.

    *Deep breath* you've helped me be a little more relaxed about it. I've broken up my story into chapters (since it didn't have them before) and it's overwhelming, but knowing that I'm not the only one going through this feels nice :)

  13. Wow I'm pretty sure you won the best prize ever! I think It may be time to invest in a desk and/or small table. :)

  14. I love your space. It looks comfy. I wish you all the very best with your revisions.

  15. OH! So THAT is what an ironing board is for! I thought mine was just a wall decoration in my laundry room. Must get it out! Love that!

  16. I won a critique from Angela, and I can vouch for her good advice too. But what she is doing for you is incredible, and it sounds like you're really profiting from it, so good for both of you!

    And I'm obviously on the same wave length as others as far as that ironing board is concerned. Mine is a great perch for cats and a super place to stack clothes and old magazines.


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