No, that’s not MY sentiment on the matter. Although embarking on a round of revisions often causes me a little anxiety, I actually love re-envisioning my story in a fresh (and usually improved) way. I’d rather re-write and revise than feel my way blindly through a first draft any old day!! (Outlining doesn’t help, btw. My characters won’t follow no stinking outline … See Larry’s post on characters who revolt.)
Not everybody feels that way, though. My 14 year old daughter, for example, has been agonizing over the revisions she’s making to a book she’s been writing for almost a year. I should probably mention that the current revisions were sparked by my commentary on her last draft, and I love what she’s done with the new one so far! From my viewpoint, it all seems to be going smoothly, but apparently there’s some turmoil inside Gabbey’s head.
She gave the world a glimpse of it on Facebook yesterday, and I’m reprinting it here (with her permission):
Gabbey (to self):
Well, as long as I'm tearing apart the first half of my book, why not twist it up even more, and hey, it might be fun to rearrange all the events...OOH! I HAVE AN IDEA! I'll just add this random scene right here and then this part...nah, I'll leave this part alone.
I think I'll make this chapter ten pages longer and this one four pages shorter. No wait, scratch that, that's a dumb idea. I'll just put these six pages in this chapter and then move this explanation to the very beginning.
Hm, I think this character should get shot with a poison arrow...but that means this other character CAN’T be shot with one. Okay fine, I'll just add a short little battle in here...DIE MAIN CHARACTER, DIE! Just kidding, but I think I kind of wrote him into a corner here...okay, deleting that whole last page. NO WAIT! UNDO! I JUST THOUGHT OF A WAY TO FIX IT! Ugh...okay...breathe...
Gabbey, welcome to the wonderful world of writing, and yes, don’t forget to breathe. I’m still hoping that Gabs will get brave enough to share her first page with us for First Impressions. She talked her crit partner, Dylan, into doing it, but hasn’t yet submitted her own page … hint, hint.