Saturday, October 31, 2009

Unrevising the Revisions

Ok, I know no one will be reading this on Saturday the Halloweenth, but I'm about to start reading and marking up my next chapter (this process keeps taking longer than I expect!), which is the one that is out there somewhere in the world right now, hopefully inspiring love in some external reviewer's heart and wending its way toward publication.

When I read through and take notes on my stuff, should I read what was in the dissertation? Read the article version? Read BOTH and collate the differences between them and make notes/a plan for revision off of both versions? Aaaaaaaaaaah! That sounds like a major pain in the ass.

And then I presume I'll need to take the (much shorter) article version and puff it back up to chapter length? Or ignore the article version and just work up the dissertation version for the book manuscript? (No, I can't do that --- I know I made a lot of the passages common to both versions better when I revised the article and sent it out again. Oy, the levels of work and possibilities for confusion here!) Or maybe all of my chapters need to be tightened up to article length --- about 35 pages instead of 50. Hmm.

And as a preview for some upcoming posts: Sisyphus has forthcoming disquisitions on introductions, toasters, National /Diss/Novel/Article Writing Month, cat hair, tailoring letters, boots, writing centers, and fellowships. Right now I'm home enjoying that the radio is playing tons of Oingo Boingo in honor of the holiday. Stay tuned for more academic excitement!


Unknown said...

For the book chapters (in my opinion) should be 50 pp., not article length. But the whole syncing of revised diss. chapter/article/book chapter issue is really a pain. I would open multiple windows on your computer with the two versions side by side and create a third frankenstein monster (beautiful revised paragraphs plus old diss. cut paragraphs). Print that out and mark it up. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Wait, if you already cut it to article size, then why do you have to go back to the diss version? I'm not understanding. Or is it that you want to make the article longer?

Oingo Boingo! I heart you. Always takes me back to the When Robert Downey Jr. still had a cool gap in his teeth era.

Anonymous said...

Wait, I think you are talking about revising the book manuscript. Ok, just figured that out. I'd use the diss version. As you go along, you'll be able to remember where you made changes that you liked to the article version so as to to take the "best of the best" from that revision. And plan, somewhere, a side by side review ONCE. But going back and forth the whole time will make you crazed. I tried that. Didn't work. For what it's worth. :)