Monday, December 13, 2010

About Revising (Part 1): What I Hate

Since I'm so immersed in revising, my next two blog posts are about the good and bad sides of the process. First, the bad stuff (I like to leave the best for last):

1. I love the idea of having that whole book sitting there waiting for me to be improved upon (it's written, yay!) but then about halfway through my revisions on the book, I have that same gigantic loss of confidence that I did when writing it. You know, the one where it all seems like crap. I thought the revision process would be different.

2. Problems that I thought I solved in my first draft somehow sneak in again. Sometimes, the solutions were not really solutions, or just bandaid solutions to hold it together so I could finish the draft. This is when I discover they don't work.

3. Cutting out great writing sucks. But as Gail Carson Levine recommends in her book Writing Magic, I always save the bits I cut. You never know. (Except I think I do know. They'll sit on my computer until one day four years from now when I'll find the file and say, "What did I save this junk for?")

4. Getting stuck shouldn't happen because I have the whole first draft sitting there but it does anyway. Why isn't it easier? I know the book needs work. Another case where I thought the revision process would be different.

5. It takes a long time to get the revisions right, even longer than writing the first draft. Sigh.

Okay, these are all the negative thoughts I have about revising. You can share your own gripes too -- but don't worry about adding encouraging remarks, because I'm going to write about the good stuff on Wednesday. So spill it. What do you hate about revisions?

6 comments:

  1. Ugh, I pretty much hate everything about revising. I love the thrill of a new idea and the satisfaction and rush of emotions of finishing a first draft. Revising is just plain hard work!

    Although, I very recently finished a hardcore revision on a manuscript I had put away for a little while, and the process was hard, but I was very pleased with the result. So I guess I like revisions once they are done!

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  2. This is what summed the whole thing up for me!

    "I love the idea of having that whole book sitting there waiting for me to be improved upon (it's written, yay!) but then about halfway through my revisions on the book, I have that same gigantic loss of confidence that I did when writing it."

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  3. What I hate is - I never really know when to stop. I end up stopping when I can't think of anything else to do. It's a hard process.

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  4. The thing about revising is you're never done. Even when the book is published, I'm still looking at it wishing I would have phrased something differently.

    At least when you're done with the first draft, that part is over. :)

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  5. Katie, I agree there's a huge amount of satisfaction from finishing a revision that you know improves your manuscript.

    Laura and Kathi - yes, that's a good one! I hate that too. It never seems to be over.

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  6. Revisions?! Ugh, revisions! Revisions take toooo loooong! LOL.

    Looking forward to the good news about revision. :) (There's will be good news right?)

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