View Full Version : Does revision make you nuts?

05-10-2005, 10:22 PM
I'm about half way through revising my romance novel, and every day I think "this is going so slowly." I was able to write the book quickly. It wasn't always easy, but I powered through. But the revision is not so simple. I find myself stalling, I think of writing other books, I play video games, and my work crawls along.

Can you please share stories about how you survived the revision process and how it made your book better?

Thanks for the support.

05-10-2005, 10:52 PM
Revisioning is what I do best. My work is always better when I spend a lot of time revising. Some folks here get bored of their work after playing with it. I don't. I've got just about every story I've ever written. I just know I can sell them eventually. All they need is further revising.

05-27-2005, 04:08 AM
I may be wierd, but I enjoy revision. The hardest part is coming to the work with a fresh eye, and not reading what's in your head instead of on the page - for me, anyways. I know the story too well, and often remember sentences exactly.
Have you tried working on chapters out of sequence? Or going through backwards, page by page?
Also, I found that I have a number of pet phrases or tics, and it took a beta reader to point them out to me - though I can spot my co-writer's tics right away, of course. Sometimes I do Find on the pet words and that leads to leaping through the mss fixing individual sentences and their immediate surroundings. Have you tried reading through for one or two specific issues, like point-of-view jumps or serial commas?
Maybe if you diversify the parts of revision enough, you can trick yourself into avoiding one type of revision by doing other kinds? What my husband calls "work-avoidance work".

06-02-2005, 03:43 AM
I so feel your pain. I've always had a bit of attention deficit, so I hate re-reading anything. I'm not the kind of person that reads a story over and over again to begin with.

But I'll say this, the whole process forced me to be a better writer. It was the equivalent of learning to speak better by giving speeches. I never doubted my "stories". But I doubted my ability to tell my stories as good as others could. In fact, once I was so tempted to have a co-author, or sell my story shell to an established writer, looking for ideas. Now, I'm glad I didn't do either.

If I read you right, you sound a bit like me. Creative, but I never get things perfect on the first pass, or even a second. However, there is little more satisfying than when you get to a point where your story is something "you" can't put down.

At one time, I feel I was "Beta" dependent, having to have a Beta-reader give me positive feedback or my confidence would sink. Now, I have confidence. I know if ADHD old me can re-read the story and love it, it's got to be ready. What's really odd to me, is my Beta-readers, who are all intelligent women (Weird, I have no guy Beta readers) loved my stories when I thought they were clunky, and in need of severe revisions. Liking your own stories is as satisfying as learning to love yourself. You just feel better getting up in the morning.

06-03-2005, 08:19 AM
Well, I'm already sorta nuts, so getting nuttier just seems to help the creative process.

But I'm with the others. I like revisions. Usually the hardest part for me is the first draft. Once I've got the bones in place, I can flesh it out fairly easily.


clara bow
06-03-2005, 08:28 AM
I try to outline as much as possible first to ensure a lean story and solid structure. Then any revision is more about polishing and proofing rather than having to tackle whole scenes. Revision helps me catch mistakes and avoid horrific embarrassment...! I also find that by leaving the manuscript alone for a while helps seeing it with fresh eyes. For me, any revision goes much more quickly at that point.

06-03-2005, 12:35 PM
I hate revision. I am getting the hang of it now though. I don't rush the first draft and take the time to write as correwctly as possible. I get early chapters proofrread while I am still writing. That way by the time I have finished I only have the last few chapters in rough form.

06-03-2005, 09:27 PM
My problem with revising is that I get sucked into the story and forget to revise it. ;) A trick someone taught me for fighting this is to revise each paragraph backwards, from the last sentence to the first sentence.

06-03-2005, 10:34 PM
Better trick: you got your baby now, its beautiful--now you nourish it.

06-03-2005, 10:40 PM
Better trick: you got your baby now, its beautiful--now you nourish it.


06-03-2005, 11:26 PM
Clean him up, feed him. Since he came from you, know that you're the only one who can do it.

06-17-2005, 08:26 PM
I think my revision is equivalent to writing a new novel.

At least what I am doing now is replotting the whole thing, moving/creating/deleting scenes and characters. I look out for special twists and turns, solid characters, consistency and a wow ending. I'm not going to spend any time writing/wasting time till all the plotting/structure is in top shape.

All I can say is that it's maddening, and sometimes I'm even wondering: why am I doing this to myself?

Kate StAmour
06-17-2005, 09:59 PM
I loathe the revision process and have a terrible time with self-editing. I am going to try some of the tricks mentioned here, though. Great topic!