This Place Called Revision

>> Thursday, September 02, 2010

Rewrite...revision...deep edits...

I never know exactly what description to use for this current project phase. But whatever the label there is no denying it is a tough place to dwell. Well past the initial excitement of the idea, beyond the satisfaction of seeing the first draft come together in a rough, misshapen canvass, this is where I look at my story and think all sorts of disparaging things.

This is so boring. There is nothing original about this. At what point did I think this was a good idea? And what had I been smoking that morning?

Recently, I read a post by Scott Eagan that spoke to some of the realities in the publishing industry that get under writers' skin and fester, spurring this revision syndrome.

Sure, editors want books to sell, but they also want a writer that can grow and develop over time. This means that it is your responsibility to find a way to keep progressing with your writing. Your job is to maintain that voice that you were signed for, but to always find a way to reinvent yourself...
...finding new twists and turns, it doesn't mean simply putting it in a new setting, or changing from vamps and weres to angels and demons. We are talking about twists with the plot or characters voices.
As a writer, think about your writing as always moving forward and up. We don't want to see the same thing over and over again.
So, yeah, I'm doing a little extra head banging to make the above happen. It's not exactly comfortable, but I know I'm not alone. It's nothing original or unique. Every writer feels it for their work at some point. I've heard many a colleague express the same sentiments. And I know it's simply a phase, something that I'll work through and love my story and the progress I've made once some point.

Usually happens for me right around the 2/3 mark. About chapter 16-18 or so. When (if ever) does it happen for you?


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