Oh So Much Boring Whining

Every day starts with the same goal: I am totally going to bust through three chapters of The Beast today and rickety rock The Casbah.

Every day ends the same way: I am human garbage and I got zero things done on The Beast.

Revision is hard, y’all. Like really hard. Harder than I thought.

When I first got the suggestions back from The Potential Agent, I was a fist-pumping, fire-in-my-veins ready to write the shit out of this thing. Then I really read what she had to say . . . things about making some characters more like humans and deepening relationships and making someone vulnerable or more provocative.

And it all sounds easy enough. It is not.

Sister #2 and my friends keep asking him how the book is going. Every time I shrug and say “I just have to revise it. It’s hard.”

Then, because they love me, they kind of nod their heads knowingly, sympathetically, then talk about the battle between my artistic integrity and what the potential agent has suggested. About vision and other hippy creative crap that makes me want to pinch their cheeks because they are so cute.

And because I love them, I say, “yeah, yeah, you’re right.”

They are not right. It’s weird that they automatically assume the potential agent’s suggestions are something I’m doing battle with, an argument against my work. When that is not the case at all. It’s that her suggestions are good and require thought.

It’s hard because it requires so much thinking and so many problems to solve and oh my god why did I write such a steaming pile of garbage to begin with?

This morning, after coffee, I sat down with my pages and Mircosoft Word. I’m gonna finish chapter 2 and then bust through Chapter 3 this morning and then sit on the couch and watch “Jessica Jones.” That’s what I told myself, because it’s good to have goals. But then I had to make Cora say something provocative (Cora’s my main character) and then I had to explain the Heavy Metal Drummer joke without being too explainy. And then I re-read the suggestions for chapter 3 about really getting to the heart of who Drew is and my brain collapsed in on itself because I don’t know how to do that.

This is hard, y’all. I feel like I should be done already or that I’m too dumb to finish this or that I am being lazy and using the thinking as an excuse not to write.

Bleh. I am going to go dye my hair purple and watch “Jessica Jones” and hope the answers come to me in the night.

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  1. Donna Trump 22.Nov.15 at 12:19 pm

    OK, so at the risk of being entirely useless and perhaps even insulting in an honest, attempting-to-be-helpful approach to this, I would like to invoke the spirit of Vodo for one way to get to the heart of a character. I remember he gave this matrix:
    –not important, not dramatic, CUT;
    –important, but not dramatic, SUMMARY;
    –important and dramatic, SCENE;
    –very dramatic: SLOW IT DOWN.
    So when said agent, whom I agree, is confounding in the way in which she asks us to do stuff we know would make this better but wtf are we supposed to do with this mess, this is what I try:
    Break out into a scene, or several scenes. Make up a conflict that will showcase some aspects of this beloved character’s heart. Add some action and put the action in slo mo. Do it early in the chapter and do it in the middle and do it late.
    And don’t lose hope, because this woman we both have the opportunity to work with is a damn good reader. I’m thankful for her, when she’s not sending me to the pit of despair.
    And I’m thankful to know you, too, Jodi, this Thanksgiving and until and after the many book tours we’ll do together.

    1. Jodi 22.Nov.15 at 8:16 pm

      You are the best! Thanks for the Vodoes of wisdom, I really needed it. I’m super stoked for our book tours!

  2. Bonny Holder 23.Nov.15 at 11:29 am

    I wrote a book 30 years ago called “My Erotic Adventures With Billy the Kid,” and one potential agent suggested that I get rid of the Billy character.

  3. Susanna 23.Nov.15 at 11:34 am

    Revision is SO HARD. I don’t think people who haven’t done it realize that it’s physically hard, not to mention vomit-inducing. Good luck.


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