Author: JamieKate
•11:41 AM
(Hey, did you notice my blog is pretty now? Look at the trees!)

Revision, I believe, is the hardest part of writing. Well, besides getting started and learning the basics. But there's something irrational, I believe, in having to become objective in regards to something so personal and close to your heart. You put your heart and soul into words, trying to make them fit together into one blossoming, beautiful, evocative being, and then you have to gradually go through and pick at it. Point out its flaws as if you hadn't created them yourself. Strip it of elements you thought made sense at one point. Of course, what comes out after this grueling process is a better being, one stronger and shinier than the one you started out with. But it's such hard work.

Loving something you've written is like loving yourself. You know you have flaws. You may try to improve on them, but they'll never be gone completely. Then others may come around and point out new flaws you never knew existed.

Maybe it's just because I'm in the writhing, hopeless throes of revision without a ready critique partner, but it seems like editing is a rather hopeless task. Nothing can ever be perfect. And no matter what I do to the book, someone won't like it. Lots of someones won't like it. Namely, literary agents and editors.

Life. Please go away while I try to improve my novel and start my literary career. Please?

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On February 2, 2010 at 12:17 PM , K.M. Weiland said...

Revision is most definitely *not* my favorite part of the writing process. But it's infinitely necessary. The best trick I've found for gaining objectivity is to put lots of time between me and my story. I'm about to dive into a major edit of my fantasy Dreamers Come, after letting it sit for five months. Wish me luck!

On February 2, 2010 at 12:54 PM , lora96 said...

You are right. Revision is the ugly ugly mirror of the process. My problem in writing (apart from an extravagent addiction to adverbs--if it ends in -ly it's my best friend) is repetition. Lots of it. And I have my very first crit partner now. I feel protective, like I need to clean up my draft a lot before I let her see it. Fear of being unfavorably judged/fear of her picking it apart. Because I LOVE IT.

On February 2, 2010 at 6:00 PM , DL Hammons said...

Definitely a necessary evil. I don't see how anybody does it without a critique partner or two. I'm always too close to see the glaring mistakes right in front of my eyes.

On February 2, 2010 at 8:36 PM , Anonymous said...

Revision can also be prideful. You confirm what you like that you wrote and clarify what needs a bit of a tweaking.
Remember to feel pride as you have accomplished something great. Clarifying it and improving it is like polishing a fine diamond. It can only improve. It's not about criticizing yourself, it's about improving what was already quite nice in the first place.
Note, I am excessively diverted that you think of it is almost being mean to yourself. Do not think of it that way, be of good cheer!