Thursday, August 08, 2013

What I love about the revision process

Revision can be stupid. Or, at least, it can make me feel stupid. Because it's hard! And often frustrating! And sometimes leads to a ridiculous amount of groaning, hair-pulling, and thunking my head on the desk in front of me.

But anything worth accomplishing is worth the struggle it takes to get there. And revising is not all groaning and head-thunking. It's usually a fun, exciting challenge.

When I have feedback to guide me, revising can be my favorite part of the writing process. Feedback, especially when it comes from an agent or editor, gives me clear direction and a sense of purpose that goes beyond my original vision for a story.

For some writers the idea of revising a story to incorporate someone else's vision might freak them out. It may be that they are afraid to let go of their baby. I understand this; it's hard to change a story that you've spent months or years working on. It also may be difficult to accept that someone else's input might make a good story even better.

Another problem with revising based on feedback is that the task may simply seem too daunting. "You want me to beef up the tension and cut 100 words from the text? Impossible!"

But the realm of impossibility is where I thrive.

It is where cute ideas and fun concepts become marketable books; where a fun story that is way too long becomes an even better story with far fewer words; and where "some day" becomes reality.

Revision may make me feel stupid, or feel impossible at times. But revision is the heart of my writing life.

How do you feel about the revision process?

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love to hear from you!