Thursday, January 28, 2010

Revision Aftershock

I've done it again.  Another revision.  This one I attacked, obsessed over, and made a burnt offering of my most precious 8 hours of sleep a night to.  Okay, I can't put all of my insomnia off on the revision process, but it played its part.  And now I'm left with the after effects of it all.  I wonder how other writers feel after a revision—disappointed?  invigorated?  defeated?  convinced they've just mastered a best-seller?  Right now I just feel a little lost.

At first, I was completely psyched about what I had done, even if I managed to cut only 5,000 little darlings out my manuscript. YA became a longish MG...that's okay, right? all those questions I thought I had slain have become little ghosts haunting me night and day.  I can't help it.  I have that perfectionist gene.  You know, the one that forces you to retake the test in your mind 20 minutes after you finished it in real life.  And you remember how you answered certain questions and are absolutely convinced that you did it wrong and completely screwed up the entire test, never mind the things you did right.  I hate that feeling.

I do think the changes have made my book stronger.  Yes, I do still love my book as always.  But as I get ready to throw myself into the next exciting WIP (which will be completely awesome!), I'm finding it hard to let go of the last one.  As I try to get inside the head of my new narrator, the last one is still tapping me on the shoulder and asking ME questions.  Are you sure that's enough?  Did you kill some of the good stuff?  Am I still your favorite?  

As far as that last question goes, one thing I have learned through all of my writing and revision is that I am still growing as a writer.  And if that ever ceases, then I may as well pull the plug.  So I've got to find a way to put that nagging little nabob in cold storage and clear my head for the next visitor.  Perhaps an exorcism?  Too extreme.  Straight-jacket?  Too literal.  Hmmm...okay, there can be only one answer to this problem...HERSHEY SPECIAL DARK PIECES.

So off I go to grab a bag and then sit down with my new narrator and have a chat, while my agent entertains Mr. Nattering Nabob.


  1. It's probably good that Mr. NN is still alive and well because once you have your book contract in hand, you'll need to become friends again.

    As for me, it definitely takes a while after releasing my work into cyberspace before I can release another voice from my head on to paper! So indulge, my friend -- you know what they say about chocolate. No? Neither do I. So this is what I say -- a wonderful panacea for all that ails you, and just enough caffeine to keep you sane.

  2. Yes, Geri makes a good point. Recently I received a personal rejection for my last manuscript. At home for Christmas, I was chatting about it with one of my beta readers (my sister), and for the life of me I couldn't remember my mc's name! I could see him in my mind's eye, but no name. She had to remind me. Egads. Either I've become really good at letting go, or my memory is failing at a much too young age (I like to think I'm young anyway).
    And btw, congratulations on finished revisions!

  3. I have to say that I love revising (and keep the scraps for short stories) but I know how you feel. It's almost like a betrayal of the first novel, making out with the second.

    Make a date night with the first six weeks from now. :)

  4. Thanks, Susan!

    And I love that analogy, Suzy :-). I may have a date with that novel whether I'm planning on it or not. We'll see what Awesome Agent has to say.


Thanks to spammers, this blog is moderated, so don't be alarmed if your comment doesn't appear right away. Thanks for stopping by!