Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Hardest Part of Revisions

Yesterday I couldn't find the latest version of my book and thought I lost 60 pages of work. Boy, was that awful; I already had cold, so after crying for 15 minutes I had produced enough flem to make my sinus cavities burst. Yuck. 

My wonderful husband held his arm around me until I finally found a recent version in my inbox. (I have to email my book back and forth between home and work so I can write during my lunch break, which is messy. That's how I got confused and couldn't find the document I needed.) So I only lost 6 pages and the story had a happy ending.

As my novel is nearing the "done" stage (if there really is such a thing), I've been comparing my current draft to my first draft.

When I make first drafts, I always think to myself, “Just write whatever comes out and you can fix it later.” Pretty soon, it becomes a mantra: fix it later, fix it later, fix it later. (I blame Nano for that attitude.)
At this stage in the game, there is no “later.” What I do is what agents are going to see. Holy crap. It's hard not to second-guess myself. I can't even imagine what it's like when you hand your last version to your editor and you can never change a single thing ever again.

Despite the pressure, there’s nothing like polishing a chapter until you know it’s the best you can make it. In my opinion, the hardest part is the best part.


  1. Trust me when I say that,one day you''ll laugh when you recall your words: "...when you hand over your last version to your editor and you can never change a single thing ever again." Your editor will probably pass your manuscript off to others who will have ideas of their own. And authors often make changes in published works, bringing out re-edited versions as "revised" editions. I've heard that the only way to stop making changes to your writing is to die. And in Kafka's case that didn't work either. But you're on the right path and i admire how hard you are working. Can't wait to read your story.

  2. I'm currently struggling as I managed to forget my password to the network on which my novel is saved. Although I can still get it through the wonders of my father and the backup system he has for me, the latest version of it (and of the detailed plan i've been constructing) isn't avalible. I have to wait until he comes and visits and by magic (I don't understand computers) gets me back into my own account.

    Meanwhile I've been working on an entirely new piece. So maybe it was actually a blessing in disguise.

  3. i'm glad you didn't lose nearly as much as you thought. it sounds like your husband did just the right thing. and i hope your crying jag cleared those sinuses but good so that you feel much, Much, MUCH better now! grins, debra

  4. Happenence: Oh dear... I hope you get your work back! It's heartbreaking to lose writing, even if it's just editing.

    Whenever I lose work, I tell myself perhaps it's an intervention from destiny or God because my second effort will be better... so much better that it will make the difference between being published and not. I don't necessarily think that's true, but it's the only thing that makes me feel okay.


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