Tuesday, March 15

Enough is Enough!

This week here on Wordwranglers, Shawn Dalton-Smith wanted to discuss revisions--when is enough enough?

I don't know the answer. I'm not sure anyone does. I've heard many authors say they're never satisfied, and would keep revising endlessly.

I have the opposite problem. I hate revising. Hate, hate, hate it.


I have learned that I have to do it. It's vital for me because I like to spit out a rough draft, usually fairly quickly. I am the world's worst proofreader of my own work, too, so to go back to check for errors is of the utmost importance.

But even more important is to add, layer and polish. Somewhat like Christi said yesterday, I always add another layer in revisions. Usually in actions and internals. Things I bounce right by on the first go-round.

But I hate revisions.

I'm always dying to get to the next thing. I always hate going back over the same old story. But I must do it.

What about you? Do you like to revise? Or would you rather have your teeth pulled without drugs?


  1. I don't mind revising. I revise continously. The bad part is I'm always going over what's already been written, so I feel like I'm never going to see the end!

  2. I don't mind revision - I look forward to what my crit partners have to say. And then I think of it this way too: at least I have something to revise!

  3. As an author, I like revising, but by the last round of edits before a book is published, I'm pretty sick of seeing that book.

    As an editor, I love revising (especially the part the author does before I have to work on the book!), but by the last round of edits before a book is published, I'm pretty sick of seeing that book.

    See any similarities? LOL

  4. I see revisions as a necessary evil -- about halfway through, I hate the book, but by the end I realize I love the book (usually) and that it's better for the revisions.

  5. As a former English teacher, I know that revision is necessary.
    I suggest to others as well as myself that a manuscript be put away for a few weeks after it's completed. It's amazing what we find that needs correction when we open our editor's eye.

    Jacqueline Seewald
    TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS--paranormal historical romance

  6. D'Ann, this is a timely question for me, as I am re-releasing my out of print historical romance series in e-format on Kindle and Smashwords. Part of the delay has been my need to revise these books (ten years of writing experience means cringing at rookie errors).Trying to find the line between too much and just right has been difficult. What I enjoy about revision is being able to turn general description into something concrete and specific, and being able to raise the level of conflict by putting characters together, instead of having them "think about" things.
    What I hate about revision is never being sure I've done enough. I've critiqued and taught writing long enough to know that too much revision can blunt a good scene instead of make it better.
    The proofreading part of the process was killing me, but someone gave me great advice: read the work aloud as you revise (I don't, because I live with people who don't want to hear me reading my book all day...instead I have the computer read it to me while I wear headphones). Hearing your work read aloud really helps in revisions. I wish I'd done this ten years ago :-)

  7. Definitely don't enjoy it - a necessary evil, but no fun at all.

  8. i don't mind doing a first revision. It's the second and third that leave me clutching my hair and making me want to run for cover.

  9. Right there with you, girl. Hate it, hate it, hate it. LOL