Monday, October 25, 2010

Revision Ponderings

I'm sitting in my living room, waiting for pot pies to finish baking (store bought—I'm not that domestic yet), and listening to the cars on the road and the sounds of yet another football game emitting from the elementary school across the street. (Before I moved here I didn't know that they had football games at elementary schools. But that's really beside the point.)

As of earlier this evening, I've made it through Chapter Eighteen of ye olde revision, and despite the fact that I've eleven chapters still to go and only six days left in the month, I'm feeling pretty good about it. Who knows, maybe it's possible to revise eleven chapters in six days. I'm going to find out.

I also have a mini confession to make:

In spite of my bellyaching about how much I HATE revising, I've come to realize that I sort of like it. Okay, "like" might be too strong of a word, but there's something satisfying about making one's writing better. Having enough distance and presence of mind to recognize the inherent crappiness of certain sections and then proceeding to fix them is all kinds of wonderful. It's really quite nifty to be able to reshape a story so that it more closely adheres to the original vision. It's hard and frustrating and sometimes makes you just want to run off screaming and become a botanist, but ultimately I think it's  even more rewarding than finishing a rough draft.

At least I hope so. So far I know Draft #2 is vastly superior to Draft #1, and that's a really, really awesome feeling.

Pot pies are done. Time for a late dinner!

5 comments:

anna said...

I definitely agree - polishing can be more satisfying, in some ways, than the part of the process that involves wrenching new idea into existence.

Anne M Leone said...

So true. Actually, I think that's how most writing works, drafting and revising. Sometimes, amidst all the frustration and screaming, it's sort of fun, too.

I did a lot of bellyaching during my revision, too. I'm not sure I ever reached the stage where I was having fun. I couldn't wait to start a new draft. But now I'm here and... well, I kind of miss my revision. =)

Joanna R. Smith said...

Thanks for the comments, anna and Anne, glad you agree!

And don't worry, Anne, I'm sure you'll be back to the revising stage soon enough. Luck with the new draft! :-)

Anna said...

I feel the same way! As much of a pain as revising can be, it's so satisfying to look back over your work and see how much better it's getting. I also love cutting things out of a manuscript - it's so liberating!

Joanna R. Smith said...

Anna, who knew that cutting stuff OUT could feel so GOOD?? But it really does. Woooo!