Sunday, November 17, 2013

Revisions! Revisions! REVISIONS!

I am in the midst of revising my ghost story set on Puget Sound…

No, I'm still near the beginning. And I just had a breakthrough that dictates revising will take even longer. I've decided the whole thing needs to be present tense.

THAT makes the whole thing harder. Not because the revision will take longer. It's because I will now need to go through the novel at least twice. Fully?

Why? Because I cannot possibly revise it if I'm concentrating on changing all the verb tenses. That in itself is a HUGE task. I use lots of verbs. At least one a sentence, unless it's a fragment. Even if it is a fragment.

So now, hopefully only through the next few weeks, I need to change every verb in the entire 80,000-word document.

Only then can I start really revising. And revising. And revising.

I won't gripe about it, though, not if it works. I'm sure, some day, it will work. Some day, if I keep revising, ONE of my novels will be worth publishing.

I hope.


  1. I was just revising an anthology of short stories. It's hard, actually, because my voice has changed and grown since I wrote the first stories, but I want to preserve some of those differences to document that growth. Defeats the purpose if I make it all sound like now.

    Of course, I really couldn't. The idealism/fatalism, the perspectives I had when I was young aren't the same as the ones I have today. But I have found it interesting to see where I've been and where I've improved. Maybe, if you did that, looked at some early revision of early work, you could be comforted to see how far you've grown over the years.

  2. I am learning that if you drag your feet and don't finish your book, you find you are dragging it along behind you and things are changing. Things that give you better understanding. Things that make lots more work.

  3. You are right, Marilynne. This sitting on my novel has made all sorts of good things happen. I need to get more done, though. Would like to have a finished product one of these days!

  4. Stephanie, this is something I have not done… but I have saved all my drafts of everything… One novel has at least five different full drafts… would looking back through take too much time, though, or should I just look back enough to be inspired to keep going?