I picked up The Weredeer again yesterday to finish the latest round of revisions. I'm discovering that the last round, which were pretty substantial, still didn't get everything I needed to address.
When I'm revising, occasionally I'll wrestle with a line or a paragraph or even a scene that just doesn't quite seem to be working, and after a while I'll give up on it. "Good enough," I'll think, and go on to the next bit. Quite often I'll also think, "I'll go back to that later," and sometimes I do but sometimes I don't.
Now, though, I'm not giving up on anything. If I sense there's a problem, I'm fixing it. Because while I'm sure I'll go over this book again, I don't want to find anything I need to fix next time. I think this is a good habit to get into, too.
Doing the best revision you can each time through, is a good habit. When you're getting to the point that you change only a word here or there, it's time to send it off. As writers we could edit forever - even after it's been published.
Write the first draft without editing (as much as you can). Then make each pass thereafter as much as you can, which should make all subsequent passes easier and shorter.
You're on the right track here - I think.
Part of my problem is that I'm a lazy writer. I'm also impatient. It's a terrible combination!
I really feel I've learned more about the revision process with The Weredeer than I have with any other project, partly because it was so awful to start with, partly because I love the characters and refuse to drop the book, and partly because I've improved as a writer so much since I wrote the first draft. I think it's getting close to finished, though--at last.
That is a good habit. If something just seems off to you, its best to fiddle with it until it doesn't. And another set of eyes is always helpful, as well. Just my two cents.
sounds like it is getting there. Keep up the good fight.
Josh--yeah, when I finish this last revision I'll think about beta readers. I miss my old writing group, although they were more for short stories than novels.
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