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?
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.
I 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.