Revision means REVISION

I like Chapter Four. It has an exciting fight scene, a tense medical situation, mystery and mayhem. However, I’ve struggled with the first page, the first two paragraphs, for a couple of nights. Last night, when I read through my third attempt, I decided a break was in order.

So, what is matter with this first page?

It’s boooooring.

Maybe I don’t understand the meaning of revision after all.

Maybe I don’t want to admit that, after all the struggle of two drafts, there are still parts of the novel that, for lack of a better word, stink.  Part of me wants to keep what I’ve written, add a few choice words, a juicy sentence here and there and call it done. But, revision can be and, I’m finding, usually is much more than just a quick brush with the pen.

The English as a Second Language Dictionary defines revision as: to prepare a new version, to reconsider and change or modify.

Well.

could completely rewrite those paragraphs. As long as I stick with the scene’s objective, I’m free to tear apart anything I’ve created and reassemble it in a new and unique way. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Maybe.

Apparently, some authors rewrite 50% + of their first draft. I sure as hell don’t want to do that.  But, I have a self-imposed deadline of May 1st, 2012 for sending out my first query letters on the novel. So, I’ll do what it takes even if it means rewriting.

Why I haven’t thought of revision as freedom to leave the old draft behind until now, I don’t know. Some sort of misplaced writer’s arrogance, fear, or laziness? Whatever. Time to shake if off.

I‘ve come too far now to flounder  and, if I need a reminder of my goal, I have my trusty dictionary by my side.

Stay tuned.

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4 thoughts on “Revision means REVISION

  1. Power on, woman!!! You are an inspiration.

  2. One thing I find is that if I try rewriting, I often get back to what I started with! So in my case it’s perhaps just not being satisfied initially with something I can be satisfied with once I’ve seen my alternatives 😀
    Other times I take a blank sheet and rewrite and what comes out seems better.
    I’m hoping with practice to hit closer to the centre of the target more often that I do at present.

    I guess we have to rewrite however much is required to get a closer approximation on paper to that wonderful story we have in our heads. And that can be so very difficult!

    Good luck with your revision! You can do it 🙂

  3. You have a sensational first novel Nancy. I’m sure you can make your deadline of May 1. Don’t think for one minute that we have not told you the truth about the portions that Word Wizards have read. It is not boring.

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