It’s that time again…revisions. Dun, dun, dunnnnnnn!
Actually, the more I think about it, when isn’t it revision time? Somehow I’ve managed to build a small stable of WIPs over the past few years. I’m always tinkering with something and struggling with which story should get attention and at what time and in what amounts. It’s exhausting! Is this what the husband from Sister Wives feels like?
Currently, I’m revising AFTER THE JUMP (round #2) and being highly amused at the gobbledygook that survived the first pass. My first edit was quick, mostly for grammatical errors and to tick it off my to-do list. I was trying to get it ready for printing using my NaNoWriMo coupon from Createspace, but I realized I didn’t really want to print that version of it. I wanted it to be completely finished. That meant taking another more invasive (and often painful) crack at it.
So this time around, many, many more words have died a fiery death and new scenes have risen from their ashes. Run-on sentences are being trimmed, characters enhanced, and stakes raised. It’s hard to explain how much it hurts sometimes to cut things. You slave over these words, spend hours birthing them like literary babies. Hard as it is to accept, it must be done for the greater good.
A really great English teacher told me that when revising you have to act like you’re seeing your work for the first time. You have to temporarily divest yourself from all of those tricky emotions that hold your work hostage. If you can maintain objectivity (try imagining you’re the reader instead of the writer) then the work can only get better.
At the end of the day, all I want is to produce work I can be proud of. I want someone to read it and know that I gave my best effort. I want to be a writer who constantly strives to improve her craft. I want my hard work to show. Revising is where it starts.