Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Finished Manuscript... or so you THOUGHT

Once you get to the end of that manuscript, what's the first thing you do?

Me, I gloat.

Oh," I say, flashing a bright and beaming smile around at my family. "Look at this paper. Isn't it amazing? That's a whole story here. Did you hear me? I wrote a whole story. Hey, look at this, I actually finished. Isn't that awesome? Isn't that great? What a good feeling! That's a lot of work, you know. I finished! I finished!"

(In less polite words, people may say I'm going "Neener neener." I'm really not. I'm just so jazzed with completing a story I have to strut my stuff a little bit.)

However, once that rough first draft (yup, it's not an actual ready-for-submission manuscript quite yet, peeps) is completed, praised, and flashed around, next comes the second step, often dreaded. Revision.

Revision isn't so bad. I like to drink a pot of coffee while I'm doing it. The worst part, for me, is the red-eyed look I develop. (Just kidding.) No, I actually get just a wee bit daunted by the sheer amount of words I have to go through. I think to myself, "Golly, Cat, did you have to be so eloquent?" It's a lot of cutting, cutting, switching around, erasing, deleting...erm, yeah, cutting. But at the same time, it's kind of fun. It's like taking a beautiful red apple, and paring, and paring, and paring, until you've got a lovely mound of white clean apple meat, cored and seeded, and sweetened in a bath of sugar and cinnamon, placed in a bed of beautiful crust, and baked until the most gorgeous apple pie emerges.

I'm probably the first person to compare revision to making apple pie, but think about it. If you didn't go through all the work of making that apple perfect for a pie, how good would your pie be?

When I revise, I like to go through it once, twice, three times, four times....until someone clicks their fingers under my nose and says, "Come in, Katrina." Sometimes I start back to front, with my last chapter first and my first chapter last, just to see how that view looks. Sometimes I'll try switching the point of view, to see how the character comes through best. But at the end of the day, I always find out one more thing.

Revision can be fun, and it will never be done.

Especially if you're a perfectionist.

So tell. What do you like about revising? I like the coffee that goes with it, and the journey of rediscovering my character all over again.

No comments:

Post a Comment

See my comment box? Want to know a secret?

*whispers* It's actually a TARDIS comment box! If you write long enough, you'll see... it's bigger on the inside!

Isn't that cool?

Now that you know that, aren't you going to throw a comment in there? You KNOW you want to. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...