Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Agent Holly's Revision Duck Mafia Strikes Again!

Myra and I long ago realized our agent, Holly Root, had a secret weapon in her rather impressive arsenal: the Revision Duck Mafia. A visit from the RDM goes something like this:

1. First, a missive arrives in your inbox, cleverly disguised as a letter from Agent Holly, bearing the news that, while most of your book was The Awesome, the following fifteen things were verging on The Suckage and must be changed.

2. Second, you take a few days to absorb the news, examine the Suckage parts, and hope you weren't misreading the Awesome bits because if you were, you might as well just give in to your secret longing to go out in a blaze of Cheese Puffs and vodka.

3. Third, you begin revising. Sort of. You revise the easy parts. The ones that you looked at in your initial read-through of the RDM's letter and thought "Hello, genius, how did you miss that?"

4. Fourth, you sort of let the difficult parts simmer. This is the point where Holly's RDM begins flexing its muscle. The RDM frowns on procrastination. They treat waffling with the same vengeful response they give to idiot humans who dare approach their flock without the requisite offering of bread crumbs or a first born male.

5. Fifth, the RDM pays you a little visit. You're sitting at your computer, minding your own business, sort of not revising, when out of nowhere, you feel watched. You look up, and there's a duck. No, really. A duck. Eyeing you with tiny little orbs chock full of hate. It's the RDM's warning shot across the bow. You only get one.

6. Sixth, you revise. In earnest. Because you fear the fuzzy. You really, really do.

Think I made this up? Last time Myra had a revision letter, she was writing on a front porch, wallowing in indecisiveness or angst or procrastination or something the RDM found offensive. She looked up at one point and found herself surrounded by ducks. Hateful, beady-eyed little feathered Revision Duck Mafia members. And she knew. Revise or face the RDM's wrath.

She revised.

Because a wise writer fears the fuzzy.

I've got a revision letter for CASTING STONES. I have no time to dive into it until Friday. You hear that RDM? Friday. I promise. Because I, too, fear the fuzzy.


  1. One time when I was in Scotland, my friend who makes bad life choices led up us up a mountainous hill and then led us down the wrong way so that the slope was not sloping, but a straight drop and we had to sit on our butts to get to the bottom or fall. And you know what was waiting for us at the bottom if we fell? besides going splat...killer ducks! Ducks that were out of the pond and running after tourists and pecking them...quite possibly they are distant cousins of Holly's mafia.

  2. Didn't ya'll tweet about Myra and the ducks? I recall being a fit of laughter over some conversation of sorts.

  3. I love this one. I think it may be the best yet. I was dying of laughter. How come I don't remember hearing about these ducks on Twiter?

    You just made my night.

  4. Revision Duck Mafia? LOL. You should introduce them to Shannon's Ninjadillo.

    Well, maybe you shouldn't.

  5. So THAT'S what she sent to my inbox in December! Makes sense now. My initial reaction to her letter was to hover my finger over the "delete file" command for my manuscript. And wine, oh so much wine.

  6. MY revision duck was WAY scarier. Just sayin'.


  7. Misa - I bet!

    Frankie - That's just disturbing.

    Crystal- Yes, we tweeted it. I linked the story to this post now, in case you feel like revisiting the moment.

    Catie- We don't mention the ducks unless we absolutely have to. They get ... cranky.

    Sara - An introduction like that could end the world as we know it.

    Maureen - I know, right? Now it all makes sense.

    Myra - You can use mine. But be careful. He's hostile.

  8. Hahah! That's a funny way to look at it!



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