The Most Important Thing About Revision

The Most Important Thing About Revision?

Absolute honesty with yourself.

Know when you are settling for a good enough because you can’t come up with something better.

Good enough is great as a place holder when drafting, but when revising everything should be your best.

EVERYTHING.

No settling, no ho-hum scenes, no walking the dog, no boring moments. None.

I’m taking a final pass through the manuscript I just spent 3.5 weeks editing. I did the editing at a 20 pages/day rate. I’m looking at this revision in 100 page increments.

What a difference.

I see my repetitiveness. I see when things aren’t advancing. I see where I lose interest.

None of this is acceptable. All of it needs to be addressed.

But it’s only by admitting to myself what I don’t like and when something doesn’t settle right  that I can begin to push my book toward it’s very best incarnation.

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2 Responses to The Most Important Thing About Revision

  1. Excellent insight, Kourtney. Honesty with ourselves can be tough during revisions, particularly when that gut feeling and/or rationale tells us that drastic change is in order. But as you said, it’s the only way to bring our work to its prime. Brilliant. Best of luck!

    • Thanks August! Sometimes it hard to articulate what is wrong. I used to just think well it’s okay so I’ll move forward. But now I constantly make notes like blah scene, okay scene ending, slow pacing, boring, too long scene, etc. Just writing down my gut reaction helps me to come back to it later and fix it. Otherwise, I’d be trying to sell sub-prime work. And I don’t want to cheat my future readers or myself. The sections requiring drastic change are the most painful, but after revisions they usually become some of my favorite scenes.

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