So, after a few health setbacks, I finally managed to finish the first round of revisions on my book.
I say ‘first round’ because I’m trying a revision system with multiple stages. The first was the most intensive and actually took me about a month to complete. Basically, I had to read through the entire manuscript (all 28 chapters, in my case), and pinpoint problem areas that had to do with story, characters, the ‘world’, etc. It’s also important to make note of those parts you really love, the ones you don’t want to risk cutting when you finally get ready to hack & slash the manuscript apart.
That’s it. Pinpoint those places. Don’t fix them yet.
So, yeah, it took a while but I managed to get through it relatively unscathed. Honestly, it wasn’t completely overwhelming, which I expected it to be, and it allowed me to see the things that are going to need more work.
The best thing, though? Even though it does need work (I would be crazy to think it wouldn’t), there were glimpses of the book I wanted it to be when I first came up with that initial story seed. Where the voice of my main character really shines through (with a little piss & vinegar. He is a punk, after all).
And then there are the parts I don’t even remember writing, the ones where I was fully in my creative bubble and not second-guessing or trying to be too “writerly”.
The realization that I wrote those words? Worth all the late nights, and pulling my hair out and gnashing my teeth when I wasn’t sure I would ever write ‘The End’.
So, now as I move on to the next stage of revisions, I know it’s only going to get messier. But if anything, that first round only motivated me to push forward.
I guess I thought shining a light on all the ugly parts would bother me but instead, it gives me the motivation I need to fix those things. To dig up all the muck and toss it away so the story seed I planted to take root and eventually grow into the book I wanted it to be all along.
(What? Too many gardening metaphors? 🙂 )