3 S.R. Johannes: Revising Insanity

Friday, August 29, 2008

Revising Insanity

At conference, I always heard talk of "writers needing to be open to revising."

I'll say now - I never quite understood that. I mean do writers NOT want to revise? How could that be - I mean who wants dangling participles anyway!

A couple weeks ago - I joined a class to "revise" my first 3 chapters.

Last week, I got my comments back from the editor.

And, now I get it.

Revising is not just tweaking, or grammar corrections, or line edits.

Now I realize revising means major rewrites, story changes, and replotting.

Revising is like cutting your hair and then someone telling you to try again. Even if you know it looks crappy. You can't just tape it back on and then recut.

Creating a new character is like going out and looking for the right guy when you are already married to one. Which I am :) Oh, I digress...

Changing your main character is like trying to re-do the past. You can't just erase a part of your history. It's just you!

My conclusion - this is not revising! This is chopping, slautering, a unjust demise.

So - what do I do?

I question. Who is this editor anyway? I mean he's only been in the biz for 25 years. I mean, what does he know anyway?

I procrastinate! This was the EZ part.

I ignore!

I justify! I'm good at this.

I cuss! This is not a surprise for those who know me?

I tell myself 'I'll just wait to see what "resonates". Yeah right what a crock!

Let me mention - the last time, my manuscript was "edited", I shelved it. And it is still there, collecting dust begging to be nurtured again.

But then?

I breathe.

I read the comments.

I keep an open mind. ok semi-open, but no one's perfect.

I have an ephiphany.

He's right.

So I go back to the drawing board. I redo outline, I re plot, I move stuff around, and I cut and paste. aahhhh!

And now?

My book is better. If I do say so myself.

Although, I think I am much more insane.

1 comment:

Carrie Harris said...

Oh yes. I think the breathing step is the most important part, too. On occasion, I've gotten those BIG revision comments, and my chest gets all tight, and I honestly think my hair stands on end. But after a little oxygen and a little time to digest it, I almost always decide that they're right... or come up with another way to address the problem that makes everyone happy.

At least that's the theory.