All my writing efforts of the last few weeks have been spent on revising and rewriting my first finished novel. And boy, does it need it. Just as this WIP was my first real effort at writing a novel, these revisions are my first real effort at revising a novel. In the process, I’m finding that revising is much, much easier for me than the act of filling that blank page.
Writing the novel feels very much like wrestling with an angel, with stops and starts and fits of intense thought as I try to dredge up the words that fit the image that’s in my head. Revising, on the other hand, flows much more easily. It’s almost like dancing; it still takes a lot of effort, but that effort glides forward, rather than starts and stops.
It’s also much easier to revise on the fly. If I get interrupted after five minutes of writing, I get very cranky and can’t regain my train of thought very easily. Interruptions after five minutes of revising? No problem! I’ll just come back and pick up right where I left off. And since I’m getting interrupted by the kiddos every five seconds, revising can happen in little snatches during the day without putting me in a foul mood.
But the best part of revisions is the transformation that’s taken place in my own head. Somehow, between when I wrote the first draft and now, when I’m revising it, I gained the ability to SEE my newbie mistakes. As I’m reading what I wrote before, I see where I’m showing, not telling, I see where I don’t have enough emotion on the page, and I see where my dialog tags are getting crazy. Of course, I’m sure I’m still missing many, many other things that could be improved as well, but I do feel like the revisions are improving the manuscript, not just rearranging the deck chairs.
And with that, I’m off to do more revisions!