Did you ever read a draft of something you wrote and feel vaguely unhappy with it? Like an outfit that doesn’t work but you can’t say what isn’t working. Worse still, every time you try to pinpoint the source of the problem, it escapes your grasp. So you couldn’t say something is wrong, but in your gut you feel it isn’t right? So you jot down a note with a broad indicator like: not flowing, awkward, character feels weird.
You hope that on the next read through, these words will trigger something in your mind and you’ll be able to explain what is wrong and fix it.
Inevitably, when I walk away and start doing something else, a tiny part of my mind keeps mulling it over. Until Eureka! I know exactly what I don’t like/what is wrong with the passage.
Then the revisions come fast and furious. Like someone else is guiding my hand. Suddenly I know with utmost certainty what doesn’t belong and what needs to be fixed. I slap myself in the forehead for not seeing it sooner. New word choices, better sentence structure, cut redundancies.
In the end, I feel extremely satisfied with my work. Exhausted from working hard, I lay on the couch to watch tv until sleep became an absolute necessity.
Does it take you a while to identify what is not working in your writing? How do you handle the revision process?