There is more to writing a novel than simply putting words on a page and calling it a book. It’s a process. A major part of that process is revision. And it’s not my favorite part. I much prefer the excitement of drafting when I’m adding words and feeling the story come together. Once the first draft is done, it’s always such a letdown to think about the story I conceptualized and realize the rudimentary version I have is nothing close to that.
Not all writers feel this way. I’ve known some who go as far as to say they love revising! Sadly that is just not the case for me. Revision often feels overwhelming to the point that I am inclined to avoid it. Of course I want my work to be the best it can be, but I find it’s hard to know how to specifically make it better and to be objective about my work (one day I can love what I’ve written, and the next hate that very same piece of writing). I actually think I’m much better at having insights into other people’s work and helping them on a path to revision.
Another obstacle is that I’ve found each manuscript ends up having different needs in revision. It’s hard to come up with a foolproof method of revising when the same thing never works on two different stories. But through trial-and-error and becoming more knowledgeable about the process (from writing workshops and reading about what other writers do) I have managed to come up with some techniques to help with the daunting process of revision. Stay tuned next week for when I share some of those tips!
#InkRipples is a monthly meme created by Katie L. Carroll, Mary Waibel, and Kai Strand. We pick a topic (April is about revision), drop a ripple in the inkwell (i.e. write about it on our blogs), and see where the conversation goes. We’d love to have you join in the conversation on your own blogs or on your social media page. Full details and each month’s topic can be found on my #InkRipples page.