Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Status on my Revision

Sometimes when I’m writing or revising a scene, a voice suddenly screams in my head, saying this:

Hell, yeah!

I tell you what, there is nothing like writing a scene and realizing it works. It’s exhilarating, like adrenaline and pleasure and self-satisfaction running through me all at once. It doesn’t happen all the time, and it doesn’t mean the writing is as wonderful as I think, but deep in my gut, I feel ecstatic. Do you ever write a line that feels so good, you drool on your keyboard?

I felt that way today for the first time in months (the first time since I decided to rewrite Sacred Fire one more time). Revising often feels like taking a perfect painting, tearing it into pieces, and using the fragments to make a collage. I’ve spent the last three months “tearing” my book apart: shifting things around, taking things out, rewriting, hitting my head against my desk, that sort of thing. It felt like an awful mess until today I took a step back and saw a picture forming. Shapes are almost recognizable again.

I scrolled through a few chapters, peering at my computer screen, and thought, “This is actually working. Holy cow.” I want to print my book out just so I can give it a hug.

It’s times like these when silly things like sleep and eating just don’t seem all that important. All I want to do is finish this thing.

I’ll be honest, when I first decided to rewrite my book again, I was pretty skeptical. The only reason I decided to do it was because my writing mentor spent six hours swapping emails with me, insisting I could make it better while I argued that it was as good as it was going to get. At the end of the day, I wrote to her, “Fine! I’ll rewrite it.” She wrote back, “Yay!”

I spent a good week or two moping and fantasizing about how different my book would have been if I had it to do all over again. Then I spent a good month or two making lists of things that needed to change and ideas that might fix the problems. (When I got to 20,000 words of notes, I realized I was procrastinating. A lot.) I still remember the day I opened my latest version of the book – it was a polished, meticulously edited document titled “to send to agents” – and made my first change.

Here we go, I thought.

I still have a ton of work to do – months and months of it – but it's working. It's actually working!


  1. I'm happy to see that you continue to be motivated and that your story progresses. Good Luck with it.

  2. I recently started my blog but I've always loved writing and i know what you mean - it's the best feeling when something works. Good luck with your rewriting!
    I'd love you to have a look at my blog
    Jessica x

  3. I actually like the revision part of writing the best. It's that first draft that kills me. I know, weird.

  4. What a great post! I love hearing stories like yours. I hope the rest of your rewrite goes equally well :-)

  5. Isn't it great when you finally realize all your hard work is, well, working?? Glad to know the revision process is going well for you so far. Keep us updated, Teralyn! Full speed ahead!

    ~Wendy Lu

    The Red Angel Blog


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