Writing and revising…and revising…and revising…

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, trying to finish a story (which still isn’t done) and revising three others. One thing that struck me is that the work on a story is just beginning when you complete the first draft of a manuscript. No, this isn’t a new concept to me; I’ve been writing too long to believe all I have to do is write a story and have it instantly perfect. Even my best first drafts need work.

Revisions can be time-consuming, fun, or just plain frustrating. I’ve dealt with all three on one particular manuscript. I know that once I finish this round of revising, I’ll have to revise it at least once more before I can think about submitting it. My critique buddies are awesome and point out all kinds of things I miss, like the bit I cut out of chapter one. I’d discovered a major info dump (huge block of information that interrupted the flow of the story), so I cut it. I knew that some of the information was given later in the story, but I failed to think of one thing: readers don’t know what happens in later chapters. Cutting the info dump was great, but I cut too much. Now I have to go back and add in an essential piece of information.

Other parts of revising that manuscript are fun, because I get to write new paragraphs, add more depth to the characters, and bring the romance out a little more. I love bringing a story to life and making it into what I want it to be. It’s such a satisfying feeling.

Of course, it’s not always fun. I spent several days struggling with how to make an mind-numbingly dull paragraph interesting. Trust me, I threatened to beat my head against my desk many, many times. Last night, I just ignored the original paragraph and put myself in the main character’s shoes. It started slowly, but then the words flowed and I accomplished three things with that single paragraph: set up the scene, gave the reader more insight into the character’s thoughts and feelings, and showed a little more of her romantic interests.

While I love writing the first draft and watching the story unfold before my fingers (I can’t outline to save myself, so I never know where the story’s going next), revising can be just as satisfying. Plus, I know that each round of revision brings my manuscript that much closer to submission. And we all know that unless you submit your work, it will never be published.

One thought on “Writing and revising…and revising…and revising…

  1. Hi! Jenni Holbrook here. I sent you an email also to inform you that you are the winner from my blog! YOu won a copu of WDW: The Green Beret Way to Conquer Fear and Succeed by Bob Mayer. Please email me at info@jenniholbrook.com and tell me where I should send it and who it should be autographed to. Thanks!

    I loved the post!

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