I always tell people how much I love revision and I do. I love that I have something to work with. I love all the new ideas and possibilities for the story. It’s exciting and invigorating.
But now that I’m in it, here’s what I know about revision: It means letting go. And maybe that’s why it’s taken me so long to really get started on my revisions for FADE AWAY (besides also dealing with some life stuff and working on a board book manuscript). Oh, I’ve been mulling over the comments and the conversation with my agent and taking some notes but I didn’t actually open the document to make changes until a few weeks ago.
Fear had raised its ugly head. I really love the story I’m telling and even though I know the revisions will make the story oodles better, I hesitated to take that first step because I knew what it meant.
That’s a Great Idea! Except…
…it means changing that scene and that scene and that scene and dropping one of my favorite paragraphs and a great line of dialogue. Sure I know this in theory and always have, but when it came to actually rewriting the scene so it focused mostly on the Sure, in theory, starting with the drama between the parents sounds great, but it means losing so much. Letting go. But I know the drill. I used Save As and that other version is pristine and untouched and ready to go back to if that feels right. 🙂
Try It, You Might Like It (unless it’s cheese)
For now I’m doing what I always suggest to the students in my classes–I’m trying it. Seeing how it feels. And I’m also giving it time. Like a new pair of shoes, I need time to get used to a new scene, approach, or character. So I’m dipping my toes into new material, reshaping my character, pushing myself to go deeper–not just into the characters, but also deeper inside myself, which is a little scary, if I’m honest. This is probably the most raw writing I’ve done and it’s cathartic and frightening at the same time.
Stay tuned for more on my revision saga as it unfolds. In the meantime, feel free to share your own revision experiences. We can always learn from each other!
I personally love the save-as tool. My father indoctrinated the feature from the very beginning; nowadays, I can have several documents all for the same paper project.
I can’t to read “Fade Away”.
Keep revising. 🙂
Your father sounds like a wise man. I’m like you – lots of versions of the same project. I always seem to go back and am very glad I have them! Also, when I’m trying something out, it may or may not work, so it’s nice to be able to return to a previous version/scene/chapter. I need to do that more with early picture book drafts :-).
Thanks for the encouragement!
Thank you. I really needed this one today!
I’m so glad! I just decided two days ago to remove a character and an entire subplot…eek! But I want to try it and see what happens. My guess is that I won’t miss it (though I will miss her a little). I’ll be blabbing about that next, I think!