Friday, March 6, 2009

Revisions: A Visual

I've been deep in revisions this week, which is a trying yet rewarding process. I'm a little less than half way through, but I'm so pleased with the way Relax, I'm a Ninja is looking. So to sum up: It REALLY sucks to get fulls rejected, but it can have beneficial effects to your writing. And wonderful life lessons to boot. I'm feeling a lot better now, thanks to fatty food, wonderful family and friends, some hilarious blogs, and a cathartic drawing session.

Now I'm going to take you on a visual trip of the lessons I learned this week, one that should demonstrate how important revisions really are. I know most writers hate revising (I'm right there), but the result is incredible.

1. The First Draft.

It's pretty, isn't it? I mean, it's way more than the rough sketch I started with. It's clean and finished and awesome. I always get excited when I finish a picture—such an accomplishment. But as lovely as it is, I know it can be so much more if I want it to be. I could take this sketch further...I could add some color.

2. Revision Round One

I've added color! Isn't it great? I spent a lot of time making what I thought was great that much better. Oh so pretty—I'm done right? I'm going to send it to some friends and see what they think. They are going to LOVE it.

*sends awesome colored picture to friends*

Hmm, they liked it, but they said I should have added some background or something. I guess they're right. It could be even better if I do full color. Yeah, that would ROCK! I'm going to put my ninja self up against the universe in all her glowing glory. Sweet!

3. Revision Round Two (or fifteen, whatever)

Boy, I hate drawing backgrounds. They take SO LONG! Does it really need a background? It looks good enough right now—I don't have to do the whole thing do I? Nah, it's fine. I'll just stop. It looks GREAT. I'm going to send it to some people, see if I can get it in an art magazine or something. They'll love it for sure.

*sends it out*

Hmm, they TOTALLY called me on that half-crap background, but they sure like the figure. They can tell I have some kind of talent if I'd just finish what I started. Dang it, why didn't I realize that my little minuscule copout would be such a big deal. Fine fine, I'll finish that stupid background.

4. The FINAL Product

Wow, I didn't realize my simple sketch could be this good. I was happy with the black and white...the colored figure...the copout background. Who would have guessed I was capable of this? I sure didn't know. I honestly thought I was doing my best, turns out all I needed was someone to show me how much better I could be.

So the universe may have broken my bo staff, but at least it gave me these shiny twin swords in return. Now I just have to figure out how to use them—then I'll be kicking Fate's butt again. Rawr!


  1. RAWR indeed! You rock.

    Completely and totally ; )

    I'm glad I know you. Also, can I borrow those swords? I kinda need to have a word or two with The Universe.

  2. Awesome visual! And that girl is you, right? She looks about as tough as you. Almost.

    Keep fighting, Natalie! We're all right here with you. To repeat the often quoted, questionably nerdy Galaxy Quest: "Never give up! Never surrender!"

  3. That's wonderful.

    I'm afraid my picture would have included a lot more erasing, paint-overs and starting the whole d$%m thing on a new piece of paper.

  4. Kierst, my swords are at your command. Point me in the right direction:)

    Ren, yeah that's me! hehe. Even though I've wanted to several times, I definitely won't give up!

    Tara, I skipped those ones so as not to make it look completely impossible. I have years of scrapped drawings.

  5. Now that is an amazing representation of what revisions can accomplish!! It's insane how much difference the background makes. It makes the Character pop!

  6. Thanks Lois! It's true. I hate doing backgrounds because they don't *feel* important. But in the end they make a world of difference.

  7. I must find this girl, she looks really awesome!

  8. "I don't have to do the whole thing do I? Nah, it's fine."

    That sounds familiar.
    That's pretty much my attitude every time I sit down to revise.

    I agree with you about personalized rejections. I finally got two of them for Travelers and I think I know why I've been getting rejected and how to fix it - if I ever take the time to do so.

  9. She appears to be going confidently in the direction of her dreams!

    Natalie, you continue to amaze me!

  10. Nicco, you already snagged her, remember? ;P

    Adam, hehe, just do it. It doesn't hurt as bad as it seems looking at it. Takes time, but it's been so rewarding so far.

    Yes Mom, I'm working on it:)

  11. That is so brilliant. It shows everything - the whole process - so well. AND how fantastic the results can be.

    Ninja Natalie is force to be reckoned with now.

    Hope it's all going well.

  12. Every good ninja deserves an azure aura.

  13. Those drawings are the awesomest things I've seen all week. (Yes, awesomest.)

  14. A picture paints a thousand words. You just inspired me to get on with my revisions! Really great post!

  15. Wow. That's beautiful. And I love the step by step summary of your revision process. Great post!

  16. Talk about layering! That picture is beautiful. You have this down when you can compare your editing process to other things. Shows how deeply ingrained it is. Good job! And I wish you the best in all that editing and perfecting. :)

  17. Thanks, Suzanne! And also thanks for stopping by:)

    Glam, hehe, I CAN edit and layer, I just need to stop choosing not to, huh. Good luck with your own editing;)

  18. I love this! Both the image itself and the analogy. I know someone who is trying to get to grips with writing and beating herself up because the first draft doesn't feel as polished as she thinks it should. I'm totally sending her this as an explanation.