Monday, July 9, 2012

Revision Won't Kill You (Probably)

Revising is:

*necessary
*often painful
*demanding
*worthwhile
*serious
*the equivalent of surgery
*something that even the most famous and talented writers do
*something that you, therefore, will have to do, no matter what your mom says

Revising is not:

*fun
*easy
*something that can be done in two days
*something that you should feel antagonistic about
*something that you only need to do once
*something that can be done lightly or playfully
*something that you can cheat at
*more exciting than eating pistachio gelato

Revising requires:

*looking at the big picture
*being willing to make sweeping changes
*being open to hitting the delete button a lot
*closely considering motivation, plot, pacing, and the character arc
*taking notes, making comments on comments, drawing a timeline, or graphing things out
*spreadsheets
*knowing when to hold on and when to let go and when to fight for things you need
*lots of coffee
*lots of sugary pastries/chocolate as goal-inspired treats
*not drinking the entire bottle of wine, even when you want to

Not putting your all into your revisions means:

*your writing won't improve
*your agent and editor will say nasty things behind your back
*you're not learning anything
*your book is still broken has not yet reached its full potential (revised! thanks to my editor!)
*you're holding yourself back

Revising will not:

*ruin your book
*kill you (probably)

Therefore, I invite you to join me in fighting the good fight. Revising is not the battle, it's the war.

ON MY WORD, UNLEASH TRACK CHANGES!
*

2 comments:

Abby said...

I like to think that revision is not fixing a broken book...it is polishing a diamond in the rough. Even as a jagged lump fished out of the earth, it's intriguing...but chiseled, cracked, ground and buffed? It's stunning.

And what could be better than offering your readers that perfect diamond?

delilah s. dawson said...

THAT'S MY EDITOR, GUYS. DO WHATEVER SHE SAYS.

...as for me, I'm going back to the diamond mine. =)