Monday, August 20, 2007

Revison: The Neverending Story

Revising my book, Miranda's Mistake, is probably one of the most challenging things I've ever done. Yeah, I might even put it up there with natural childbirth. Revision isn't as painful as giving birth, but just as scary.

I'm trying to keep the big picture in my mind. To do that, I need total silence and absolutely no distractions. I'm finding even the whir of the central air conditioning annoying. Am I creating bugaboos? Probably.

Last week I went off on a tangent, adding a vein of intrigue that doesn't work in my story. All the time I was doing it, I knew deep down in my gut that it was wrong. Still, I traveled that wrong road until I could go no farther. This week I'm cutting it.

I would say it's funny how desperation puts us on the wrong track, but it's not funny at all. I'm not laughing. Last night I printed out the entire book again--clean pages to read and mark up. One more time.

How do you keep the big picture in your mind when you're doing revisions? Don't tell me you only see one chapter at a time. How can that be when each chapter affects the next and the next and the next?

I thought I was being smart by just getting the story down as the pantsers advise. But the plotters might have the better idea 'cause there's something to be said for knowing where you're going and revising as you go.

Just get it down on paper, and then we'll see what to do with it.
~Max Perkins

Yeah, right! Revision. For me, it really is a never-ending story.

I lift up my eyes to the hills--from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

I feel better already. :)


Lisa said... now we know what YOU'VE been up to! (smiles)

I'm trying to work up the courage to do the same thing to my latest wip. Gotta totally revise one section.

Janelle said...

Yep, I know what you're talking about. I'm totally revising the wip I'm working on. Even more than I thought I would. I don't think anyone would recognize it now from the first draft. Even some of the names have changed to protect the guilty. (grin) Just hang in there. You'll love it when it's done.