So far, in my very limited experience, revisions are somewhat painful and yet, at the same time, gratifying.
What’s the deal with this dichotomy?
Drafting is laborious, but creative and exciting. You’re meeting your characters for the first time. You have many moments of self-congratulatory exhilaration as your plot weaves into brilliant chapter after brilliant chapter. You smile and pat yourself on the back. You dream about your book and characters. Every song you hear is your protag’s song. You finish your book with a sigh and shed a little tear. It’s brilliant.
You begin to revise. Or, ahem, in my case rewrite. Because it’s awful. Horrible. How could you have ever put those words on that paper. What were you thinking? So you rewrite. You suppress your gag reflex and overwhelming desire to just throw your digital copy in that little virtual trash can on the bottom of your screen. And then throw it away…if only to hear the gratifying digital sound of crumpling paper.
You rewrite. And while it’s painful, it’s also cathartic. In what other world can we start over? In what world can we delete awkward pauses, poorly worded conversations, terrible name choices? Only in our worlds can we do this.
And we rewrite and we make it better. And this, my friends, is what it’s all about. This is where ART happens.
So I continue to revise. I cringe at my previous brilliance and forge ahead. Cutting poetic lines and adding smart dialogue and always, always getting rid of that (the actual word that—I’m littered with it).
SO, my HUGE overwhelming question to you is this: How many times to we have to endure re-writes until it’s RIGHT?