Slice and Slash Saturday


Hi gang.

As some of you may know, I’ve been neck deep in revisions these past weeks. The resultant ups and downs of ripping into my work in progress have left me dizzy. As soon as I figure out one problem, I’ve gotta tackle another. Makes me tired.

Sound familiar?

Should it come as any surprise, then, that the word revision strikes fear in the heart of the stoutest writer? I mean, really, you finally get your manuscript “done,” just to realize ya gotta start over?

Oy. Vey.

On the other hand…

Each successive revision helps me to focus on different aspects needing work. It leads to tighter prose. More tension. Stronger characters. A better story.

Cool. AWESOME.

So, what makes me hesitate when I stare at page one? Why do I pause?

I know the MS will improve. BUT…

Knowing and feeling are two different things.

As a result, I’ve found gearing up for revisions (AKA, tackling my feelings) is a skill in and of itself.

So how do I do it?

I usually prepare by rallying my supports, getting feedback from betas, and reading examples of the work I wanna emulate. By then I’ve got enough confidence to give revisions a try. Once I start, I get to play. In fact, I might even have fun. Whoa. Neat-o.

Tell me, friends, what do revisions represent to you? Do you enjoy them or cringe at the thought? How do you prepare to revise?

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6 comments on “Slice and Slash Saturday

  1. Pete says:

    Make a copy first. LOL. Then get out the hatchet, hammer and saw and start swinging.

    And I keep all my cuts in a separate file, so the darlings can breath in there.

  2. I admit, I cringe. I don’t mind going through and correcting technical problems, but REAL revisions, such as plotting problems, make me shudder until I figure out the best way to fix them – or at least, what I hope will be the best way.

  3. Lindsay says:

    I’m in the camp of half-hating and half-loving revisions at the moment. I love the reaction from my betas when I change something and it makes it stronger. I hate the hair pulling horror when I stare at the page and go blank.
    To prepare I make a copy, open a new file, paste it and let loose. That way – if I screw up – I’ve still got the old one. lol.

  4. Zoe says:

    I *must* have a printed copy to peruse. And coffee. And I also read novels that impress me when I’m stuck on a particularly thorny revision issue, so I can look for examples of how an author wrapped up a sub-plot arc, or introduced something, or foreshadowed, etc. etc. Good luck, and cheers for diving in and doing the hard work!!

  5. lydia K says:

    I love and hate revisions. It’s not as exciting as the first draft, yet just knowing the MS is imperfect keeps me going (sometimes give me panic attacks during my low points).
    Keep up the good work!

  6. I don’t mind revisions, as long as I deem them necessary. This goes back to only doing a change if you agree with it, so I live by that mantra. So it’s not that bad for me.

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