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A Day in the Writing Life: Beth Revis

I always thought a proper writer would have a wide, expansive mahogany desk with a high-backed chair. More than likely in New York City, with a view of Central Park. And something *artistic* and *interesting* hanging on the wall. 

Nathan Fillion optional, but much preferred.

Well, I have since become a Proper Writer. With a book coming out and everything. And I have yet to get my executive desk overlooking Strawberry Fields, and Nathan Fillion doesn't return my phone calls. 

But here's the desk I DO have:

Excuse the blurry picture! I had to use my cell phone for these.

Things of note:

-Maps of England and Europe in the background of the desk

-iMac--the ONLY way to write :P

-A Laini's Lady hanging from the wall

-My pen holder is a gargoyle

-I have a silver penguin to the lower right of the screen--after all, I *am* being pubbed with Penguin/Razorbill

-My two favorite pictures--My parents and I at my wedding, and my husband before he was my husband--hang out on the left side

-The shelf on top hold ARCs, manila envelopes, and lots and lots of legal pads. I think with legal pads.

-You might notice that the desk is exceptionally clean. 

-That's because I'm not using it.

That's right! This is my writing desk...and I'm not using it. Like, at all. Because this is the writing desk, and I'm not currently writing. Currently, I'm REVISING. And revising takes a lot more room.

When I go from writing to revising, I need a change of scenery. So, I go to the kitchen. The table in the kitchen is the one I inherited from my grandmother, the one I used to eat Thanksgiving at throughout my childhood, the one I signed my agent and publisher contract on.

And now it's my revising table.

I move my desk chair into the kitchen during revisions. I need the cushion for the long hours of butt-in-chair!

Here's what I need to revise: 

-Printed copy of my manuscript (bound at Staples, after a suggestion from Mandy Hubbard)

-The copy of my ARC to fact-check for the sequel

-A HUGE jar of peppermints

-Legal pads and Sharpie pens. They are my thinking tools.

-Oh, yeah--and the laptop.

Here's a close-up of where the biggest part of revision comes from:

 -I had to turn the page--I'm work on the HUGE plot twist right now and didn't want to ruin it for you. But, as the text suggests, "Imagine lots of scribbled notes here"

-I do all my brainstorming and revision notes on paper, then take it to the screen. Ironically enough, I write the entire rough-draft on the computer without using paper (unless I get stuck)

-That's my huge jar of peppermints. It's huge. And minty-fresh.

Also note the HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON dvd. That's playing on constant repeat whenever I'm not working on writing. Such as now. 

Occasionally, the legal pads don't cut it. My brain stalls out, and I've got nothing. At time like this, I poke the demon awake:

Meet Sirius. He goes from asleep to RAGING BALL OF EVIL in 2.3 seconds. Quicker, if rawhide's involved.

So, when I get so stuck that peppermints and legal pads don't work, I whistle. And off we go!


( 65 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 28th, 2010 05:42 am (UTC)
Thanks for this glimpse into your space and your writing process! I hope Nathan shows up soon.... ;)
Oct. 29th, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
ME TOO. Although the husband wouldn't be happy... ;)
Oct. 28th, 2010 06:06 am (UTC)
I am always so interested to read other writers' process, and see how it compares to my own. Fascinating that you use two spaces, but I can see how that helps keep things straight.

Thanks for the great post, Beth!
Oct. 29th, 2010 12:14 am (UTC)
Re: Proces
Glad you liked it! Moving to a different space isn't something I planned to do, but I guess the work just spilled over to another table!
Oct. 28th, 2010 08:30 am (UTC)
You have a dog named Sirius?! You quite possibly are now my favorite of all time. :P
Oct. 29th, 2010 12:15 am (UTC)
I love that book people get the reason behind his name! My husband didn't get it until like a year later!
Oct. 28th, 2010 10:33 am (UTC)
I love your process. I do almost all of my work at the kitchen table. I may be graduating up to a desk soon. The hubby and I have been talking. *crosses fingers*
Oct. 29th, 2010 12:16 am (UTC)
Kitchen tables are awesome! Just wish I actually, yanno, ATE there more often...
Oct. 28th, 2010 10:44 am (UTC)
a day in the writing life
Beth, you're lucky you even have a desk. I do, but it is in the bedroom closet. My "office" still needs renovations before I can move in to it with our 6 yo rabbit. I usually do my writing on the kitchen table when everyone is asleep or out of the house.

I agree, the desk with Nathan Fillion would be nice.

Happy writing!
Oct. 29th, 2010 12:18 am (UTC)
Re: a day in the writing life
I didn't always have a desk! My husband made it for me-- http://bethrevis.blogspot.com/2009/05/perfect-writing-desk.html
Oct. 28th, 2010 10:54 am (UTC)
Desk? Desk? Chair, Chair? In Russia, we write on wall while tied to a ladder. Our plot twists occur in ankles.

Beth, I really enjoyed your day in the life of a reviser. And I am so happy to see a picture of Sirius back at home. :-)
Oct. 29th, 2010 12:21 am (UTC)
Me, too! I've gotten so much less work done since he came back!
Oct. 28th, 2010 11:11 am (UTC)
I love the idea of a bound ms- genius! And I am coveting your office chair- it looks so comfy!
Oct. 29th, 2010 12:24 am (UTC)
I stole the bound ms idea from Many Hubbard! And the chair is comfy...for the first couple of hours...
Oct. 28th, 2010 11:15 am (UTC)
Love it! And revising does take sooo much more room--gotta spread out, man! Good luck with your revisions. Write hard.
Oct. 29th, 2010 12:25 am (UTC)
Thanks! I unfortunately got NOTHING done today...but tomorrow is another day!
Oct. 28th, 2010 11:54 am (UTC)
I love that your dog's name is Sirius!
Oct. 29th, 2010 12:27 am (UTC)
I love that writer friends get it! :)
Oct. 28th, 2010 12:12 pm (UTC)
I love these glimpses in. Thanks, Beth! It's so funny because the last thing I've ever doodled on actual paper, writing-related was a shoddy-looking map of our school. If I'm ever stuck, I open a new word document and begin making a list. It's so interesting to see other writers' processes.
Oct. 29th, 2010 12:28 am (UTC)
HAHA! We're the exact opposite--computers work when things go well, but when I'm stuck, I've GOT to scribble with a pen.
Oct. 28th, 2010 01:05 pm (UTC)
Sharpies (fine point) and legal pads are my tools of choice, too. My black dog isn't called Sirius, though. I love that you squeezed that one by the hubby.
Oct. 29th, 2010 12:31 am (UTC)
YES! They have to be fine point. LOVE THEM! Have you been to Staples lately? They have huge bins of fine points in all different colors!
Oct. 28th, 2010 01:44 pm (UTC)
Love it, Beth!
Oct. 29th, 2010 12:31 am (UTC)
Indigo [blogspot.com]
Oct. 28th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
Love it! I have a 7ft long farmers oak table in my dining room. I absolutely love to work there. Something about the warm wood, space to spread out, and perfect view through the window to the woods - can't beat it. I'm so glad to know my table isn't the only one with an office chair (winks).

I imagine in the winter I'll be back to the couch, where I can watch a fire burn in the pellet stove. I rarely if ever use my desk. It's an expensive storage space for the laptop and TBR pile.

Thanks for glimpse into your world! (Hugs)Indigo
Oct. 29th, 2010 12:33 am (UTC)
Re: Indigo
Oh, I LOVE farmers oak! My friend has one, and it's gorgeous. I keep fussing at her for covering it up with a tablecloth.

I usually move to the couch around 4:00--in time to see the school bus roll by!
Author Matthew Rush
Oct. 28th, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC)
So interesting!
Thanks for sharing this Beth! It's so cool to see how others go about their work.
Oct. 29th, 2010 12:34 am (UTC)
Re: So interesting!
I think so, too! I think there's actually a book on the market that just has pics of famous writers' desks...
Oct. 28th, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC)
that is one adorable demon.
Oct. 29th, 2010 12:40 am (UTC)
He only LOOKS adorable.
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( 65 comments — Leave a comment )


The Elevensies
a mid-morning snack
with coffee or tea

A group of YA and MG authors whose first books debut in 2011


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