April 12th, 2011

Revisions

I always say that I enjoy the revision process.  And I do…after the fact, when I can see how much better the manuscript is for it.  I forget each and every time the requisite panic, pain and hair-pulling that comes with it.  (Much like childbirth, I think this is the brain’s defense mechanism so that we’ll go through it again and the human race…and creative process…won’t die out.)

Herewith, the newly remembered, currently experienced stages of revision lunacy:

#1 Denial: What?  But this was the best I’ve done yet.  I’m sure of it.  (I’m always sure of that when I turn a book in.  I love it.  It’s finished.  It’s shiny and new and sleeps through the night…or maybe that’s I get to sleep through the night.)

#2 Panic: My editor is right.  Oh Lord, he’s right.  How did I ever let anyone see the novel in this condition.  It sucks.  I’m sure my editor thinks I suck.  No one will ever love me again.  There’s no way I can pull this off.  If I could, well, I’d have done it in the last draft.

#3 Epiphany: Wait, I know how to fix this!  Okay, maybe not that.  I’ll have to come back to that, but this….  Give me a minute. 

#4 Snowballing: Ack, if I change this thing, that one has to change and…(*the ripping sound you hear is my hair being yanked out by the roots*).

#5 Cautious Optimism: I think I might actually make it.  A hundred pages left to go.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

I’m up to #5, but I know #6 (Big Honkin’ Speedbump) is right around the corner.  I’ll keep you posted.