Confession? I’m not a big fan of revisions and I think I’ve finally figured out why. That’s not the confession, actually, this is: A little part of me hates to change a story I’ve written. Yes, I know, my words aren’t golden, and edits and revisions are a necessary evil in every author’s life. But you know, there’s a bratty little writer in me who just wants it to be perfect the first time and doesn't want to hear anyone tell her any different.
Perfect. Ah, now there’s the real rub. Perfect is so not ever gonna happen. Especially from this writer, who has a penchant for backstory that makes her editor want to weep. Book 3 of the Women of Willow Bay series is in revision right now, and I knew exactly how rough it was when I sent to my editor. I knew exactly what she’d say, but I sent it anyway because I was so very done with the story.
However, it’s been a good seven weeks since she sent it back to me and I’m ready to dive in again. Her comments are always spot on--yes, the backstory has to go. Start in the present—the right now—and let’s meet both the heroine and the hero in the first chapter. And you know what? I already like it so much better. In just a few pages, I’ve given my reader all the introduction they need to my heroine and hero, and now I can move forward with the story. I am amazed at the difference it makes. My writing is tighter with more emotion and action in just those first pages than in all the old beginning chapters combined.
It feels terrific to be writing and making progress. Why does that take me by surprise time and again? You’d think I would realize that what makes life work for me is writing, and that when I’m not writing, I’m not happy. How hard is that concept? I remember once that fellow romance author, Anne Stuart, once wrote on the Reinventing Fabulous blog, “Everything in my life is filtered through my writing. There is no me without it.” I need to remember that during the restless, unhappy times. It’s all about the writing.
How about it, writers? How do you feel about revisions? Do they make you crazy or do they make a better writer?