Revision – I Thought You Were My Friend
“The first draft reveals the art, revision reveals the artist.” Michael Lee
I’m not sure any part of that quote is true in my case, but I have always put my faith in revision. I suffer through first drafts by reminding myself how much easier writing will be once I have a complete draft. I will know where the story is going, what my characters want and what is standing in their way.
I’ve completed a draft of my new novel. I wasn’t happy with the last section of this, yet to be named book, so I decided to begin revising the last several chapters by rewriting them from scratch. This has worked for me in the past because as I rewrite, or more aptly put, retype my work, I’m fully awake to the original text. I’m not just reading it, deleting and adding bits and pieces, I’m analysing it, figuring out what is working and what is not. This arduous process helps me flesh out scenes and characters I may have glossed over in my rush to get a first draft done. And with some luck, this retyping process has, in the past, helped me build the rich layers of detail and complications essential for a good read.
I’ve been showing up most mornings at my desk, but the words have not followed. That’s not exactly true. There have been some words and I did finish a redraft of one chapter (about ten times), but the process has been slow (think 100 words on any given day after two or three hours of staring at my blank screen and my printed manuscript). Every morning, I tell myself today will be different, I’ll find my momentum and yet, it hasn’t come.
Perhaps I’m rushing things. I set a goal of completing another draft by the end of the year. I likely placed too much pressure on myself. Don’t know.
At the moment, I’m not sure how to get out of this rut so I repeat my mantra: show up, see what happens, be patient (not my strong suit and likely my problem at the moment). A breakthrough is coming.
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