10
May
10

Revisions — love or hate?

I’ve been scarce lately. Not just on this blog, but everywhere. I had a couple of months where I didn’t achieve very much in the way of writing, so over the last six weeks or so it’s all caught up with me.

It’s exhausting. But kinda cool. I did a bunch of promo for my latest release, and promo is a huge time muncher. I wrote half a novel, in the time it usually takes me to write 15K, and it doesn’t totally suck. I revised another one for my editor. They were the edits from hell. But I did it, and she loved it.

And now I’m polishing the newly finished one, book #4 in my series, before it goes to the editor. This job never stops, and it’s awesome :)

Revising is one of my favourite parts. Okay, I have lots of favourite parts :) starting, finishing, outlining, cutting… yeah, I guess I love it all.

But revising is special. There’s nothing like having a completed manuscript to play with. After having spent months on the nitty-gritty, it’s great to get back to big-picture thinking. Adjusting character arcs to make them sing, tweaking the scenery, sparking up the dialogue, trimming out the fat bits. Often it’s just a line or two that makes all the difference. You can change a character’s entire motivation with a few choice sentences.

It’s fun. It’s empowering. And it’s satisfying when you finally get it right.

When you have deadlines to deal with, revision time is also a huge relief! You can take a breather. You can say to yourself, I have a manuscript. I’ve made it. The worst thing that could happen is that I have to submit it the way it is. And hey — it’s not that bad!

Because it never is ‘that bad’. And that’s why revising is so cool — because every now and then as you read along, you find the little gems you’ve made. You go, no kidding. That paragraph was actually pretty good. That was an awesome simile. That character is really cool. Wow, that’s so sad. Pwhoar, that’s sexy!

Revising is a time for hard work. But it’s also a time for self-congratulation. And we all need that every now and then.

P.S. Anyone looking for some revision tips? I’d recommend — nay, insist on — Margie Lawson’s Deep Editing techniques. The emphasis is on tightening and empowering your writing, rather than structural revisions. Her EDITS system is one of the most intuitive methods I’ve come across for analysing what your writing needs. It’s hard work, but the results are extraordinary. Get thee to Margie.

So what are your thoughts on revisions? Love or hate?


3 Responses to “Revisions — love or hate?”


  1. 1 Jennifer C. Rodland
    10 May, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    Wow. That is a lot to accomplish in six weeks. Way to go!

  2. 11 May, 2010 at 12:13 am

    I love revising. To me, that’s the part of writing that’s really fun!

  3. 6 June, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Wow, Erica – my head spins just reading about the work you’ve accomplished! Well done, you! Your enthusiasm for the writing comes through in every word of the blog – and you even like editing :-) I’m in Editing Hell right now on an ms that needs quite a bit of rewriting (complicated plotline) and you cheered me up no end with ur upbeat attitude – thank you!


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