As I write about revisions, I’m struggling with a short story. It is difficult for me to write to topic, and this one demands just that— it is in response to a call for submissions for an anthology. I had the first draft down last week, and this week it is all about polishing! Some folks love re-writes, but I’m not as lucky.
But I realize I need to be real objective, real fast, because I know I can’t hear the story’s hearbeat. It is faint, nearly gone and that, obviously, is a bad sign.
My tricks to get objective during quick revisions:
1. Completely forget about the story for as much time as possible, except when I go to bed…which is when my subconscious takes over, and I’m dragged back to my story world.
2. Pretend that the story is written by someone else, and I need to do a critique.
3. Look at the bits I discard as excess wood from a beautiful sculpture.
4. Draw a mind-map, or fill up index cards with the scenes and then play them around.
5. Pray hard, walk a lot, eat chocolate.
What do you do when you have very little time between the first draft and the final product?