Thursday, December 27, 2007

ON PARTRIDGES

And a one
And a two
And a-
All together now!

Follow the little bouncing ball..
**Mitch Miller









HANK: Last year, about his time, I was deep into revisions. In order to prevent myself from actually working, I decided (as any of us would) to write new words to an old song. The revisions were fine, and now just a fond memory. The book will be out next year, if all goes as planned. But the song? Well, it's almost New Year's Eve so what better time to wrap up the holidays. Let's do a little Jungle Red caroling!



On the first day of revisions, my editor said to me:
A partridge wouldn’t like a pear tree.


On the second day of revisions, my editor said to me:
Write a little faster
And a partridge wouldn’t like a pear tree.



On the third day of revisions, my editor said to me:
Try to use some humor
Write a little faster
And a partridge wouldn’t like a pear tree.



On the fourth day of revisions, my editor said to me:
Make your chapters shorter
Try to use some humor
Write a little faster
And a partridge wouldn’t like a pear tree.


On the fifth day of revisions, my editor said to me:
Find a better plot!
Make your chapters shorter
Write a little faster
Try to use some humor
And a partridge wouldn’t like a pear tree.
On the sixth day of revisions, my editor said to me:
Six weeks til deadline
Find a better plot!
Make your chapters shorter
Write a little faster
Try to use some humor
And a partridge wouldn’t like a pear tree.


On the seventh day of revisions, my editor said to me:
Seven chapters bore me
Six weeks til deadline
Find a better plot!
Make your chapters shorter
Write a little faster
Try to use some humor
And a partridge wouldn’t like a pear tree.


On the eighth day of revisions, my editor said to me:
Eight titles vetoed
Seven chapters bore me
Six weeks til deadline
Find a better plot!
Make your chapters shorter
Write a little faster
Try to use some humor
And a partridge wouldn’t like a pear tree.


On the ninth day of revisions, my editor said to me:
Nine new characters needed
Eight titles vetoed
Seven chapters bore me
Six weeks til deadline
Find a better plot!
Make your chapters shorter
Write a little faster
Try to use some humor
And a partridge wouldn’t like a pear tree.

On the tenth day of revisions, my editor said to me:
Ten motivations missing
Nine new characters needed
Eight titles vetoed
Seven chapters bore me
Six weeks til deadline
Find a better plot!
Make your chapters shorter
Write a little faster
Try to use some humor
And a partridge wouldn’t like a pear tree.













On the eleventh day of revisions, my editor said to me:
Eleven conflicts iffy
Ten motivations missing
Nine new characters needed
Eight titles vetoed
Seven chapters bore me
Six weeks til deadline
Find a better plot!
Make your chapters shorter
Write a little faster
Try to use some humor
And a partridge wouldn’t like a pear tree.

On the twelfth day of revisions, my editor said to me:
Twelve months til the sequel
Eleven conflicts iffy
Ten motivations missing
Nine more characters needed
Eight titles vetoed
Seven chapters bore me
Six weeks til deadline
Find a better plot!
Make your chapters shorter
Write a little faster
Try to use some humor
And a partridge wouldn’t like a pear tree.

ROBERTA: Love the song Hank. But I'd still much rather revise than write that dratted first draft!

HANK: Oh, I actually love revisions. Not that you'd know it from the song. But let's see, maybe I should write a first draft song. Or better, a synopsis song.


To the tune of MARIA:


Synopsis!
I still have to write my synopsis
But not one useful word
Or sentence has occured
To me....

Okay, sing along! Anyone???

9 comments:

sheila328 said...

Hank, you nailed it!

Sheila

Susannah C said...

Gracious. This song makes me feel a little anxious in ways the original never could. }:D

Must Remember: More Humor. Fewer Partridges.

-=Susannah

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Hank, I love it! (As I get ready to give my MS one "last" read through before sending it out into the ether.)

But, I have to say that if i wrote a synopsis song it would likely be a dirge.

Nancy Martin said...

Hank, this is a hoot! An instant holiday classic for all writers.

Rosemary Harris said...

Synopsis...
I can't 'til I plant
coreopsis!
And then I'll have to weed,
and make some time to read
not write.

Susannah C said...

ROFL -- Rosemary, I was sure you were going to say "...and make some time to read / Thanatopsis."

Which would NOT help in the summary department. He never was brief who was William Cullen Bryant. Though he probably liked coreopsis.

http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/webtexts/Bryant/thanatopsis.html


Top marks for finding a word that would rhyme with synopsis in the first place. =:D

Susannah C said...

Eh -- my URL truncated.

Trying again:
http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/
webtexts/Bryant/thanatopsis.html

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Synopsis
Say it loud and the time's elapsing
Say it soft and your career is collapsing
Synopsis
No time for what-if's or perhapsing

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Thanks Nancy! What a nice blurb! (And delighted to see you here...)

Judy--good luck with your submission. JR is crossing its JR fingers..

To the fabulous Sheila--whose book comes out WHEN? Will you guest blog for us when it does?

To Susannah and her darling Puzzle...and all the beloved Red writers and readers--Happy New Year and can't wait to chat again.

A special shout out to our dear Patry Francis..hope you're getting better every minute..

xo Hank