Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Revision Gauntlet

Got all my edits back on Monday. That places me squarely in the revision gauntlet. Last night, I intended to get a few chapters done... barely finished with the Prologue.  I was able to get all of Chapter One and the first scene of Chapter two done last night, but it was still pretty slow.  I'm afraid this is going to take me longer than intended.  Also, time is not cooperating this week; I've only had an hour to work each night.

Like most writers, I'm probably never going to be satisfied with my work.  I feel like I could edit until my fingers bleed, and even then it would still suck.  The writing, not the story.  I think that's a key distinction.  Maybe I'm mental, but the two are compartmentalized for me.  I can completely hate my writing and yet love the story.  I would guess this is common among a lot of writers.  As a group, we tend to be overly critical of our work, yet something drives us to continue, to follow through.  For many, it's likely a love of the story and the characters.

The Binder's Daughter may not be done this week, but I'm going to try really hard.  I love this story and I really want to share it.  I think it's a lot of fun and well worth the $2.99 I'm planning on charging.  We have another wedding this weekend and it's also my wife's birthday, so we're going to see her family.  Thus, I don't really get to lock myself in and focus on the edits.  If they spill over into next week, then they spill over.  I'd rather do it right and a wee bit late than rush it.  The story deserves it.

I am extremely pleased with the quality (and quantity) of edits I got back from my various critical eyes.  Some good plot suggestions, story suggestions, and, of course, grammatical and spelling issues.  Now, I just have to endeavor to stay in the creative side of my mind.  I don't want make it this perfect literary accomplishment at the expense of fun and creativity.  More accurately, I just want to polish it enough that the story takes over and my writing stays out of the way.  Maybe that sounds odd or overly critical.  See above.

It's not that there aren't times when I'm really proud of the writing.  There are a lot of great passages that, even though I wrote them, I return to and smile.  It's just a struggle for me to trust and believe in the process.  We're doing this right.  From all I've read, rookie mistakes are most common when you try to be too analytical.  The goal is to turn out a polished book that retains the spark of life that set me to writing it in the first place. 

I make no pretenses at being a professional... yet.  But I do think we're taking a very professional approach.  The revision gauntlet is just my last step.  My wife's got the cover under control and almost finished.  We have our marketing plan.  It's exciting and scary.  Here's hoping that I make it through these next few weeks without succumbing to myself.  And here's hoping you love the story as much as I do.


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