How Manuscript Revisions are like a Sewing Project from Gail Carriger (Important for Writers)

Deeply enmeshed in revisions right now, Gentle Reader. I’ve discussed this before but I’m one of those writers who actually enjoys editing. However, I am on a tight turn around with this pass and I am also one of those writers who hates missing deadlines. So, my apologies for being scarce online of late.
Victorian sewing machine

I’ve been formulating an extended metaphor for how writing a novel is like sewing a dress, it goes something like this . . .

If a muslin mock-up is like an outline, then putting the rough draft together is like sewing the dress pieces into a cohesive whole. Then first draft revisions is when you are taking apart seams and fixing your mistakes. After the editor has looked at it second time, then it’s all about tailoring. After that you can add the finishing touches like ruffles and descriptions, check your seams (fact checking and continuity) and put on buttons. Then it’s a nice ironing (copyedits). And ta da! A finished garment. Or manuscript.

I’m getting a little confused here, ah, extended metaphors.
Right now, however, with this book, I’m back to picking apart seams. I sewed it together using entirely the wrong thread, shall we say?

My favorite part, is the tailoring phase, but that’s looking like it won’t come until the second set of revisions. Still, I don’t mind what I’m doing now, it’s just more work than I thought. I had set up my sewing room for tailing, as it were, when I find out I’m redoing all the seams instead.

The best part of any dress is putting together the outfit at the end. Adding accessories such as cover art, back cover copy, blurbs, author bio and so forth. That’s what you all, the readers, get to see. In that way writing a book is exactly like making a dress, we are all walking around hopefully you won’t look too closely at the seams!

Metaphor for the win!

In other news, I’m still finding time to tweet so if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter there are some updates there. I am slow to respond to comments though. Sorry about that.

Quote of the Day:
“Books have to be read (worse luck it takes so long a time). It is the only way of discovering what they contain. A few savage tribes eat them, but reading is the only method of assimilation revealed to the West.”
~ E.M. Forster


Posted by Gail Carriger

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