Why I love revising

I truthfully don’t mind revising.

And now you’re probably thinking one of two things. Either A, that is a total lie. Or B, something is wrong with this girl and she’s not quite sane. But I really am being honest, so if truth exists in either theory, it lives in B and B alone.

I find revisions refreshing. There is nothing more satisfying than getting a suggestion for an edit, sitting on it for a day or two, realizing it is totally and entirely 100% correct, and then fixing it. Maybe I’ve been conditioned to work this way because of my day job. As a web designer, I easily go through 10+ rounds of any given design before it even goes before a client. And then after the client sees it, the revisions continue for several months and often seem endless. But in most cases, the end product is a million and a half times better than the original design I had done back on day one. So perhaps this is why I love revising when it comes to writing as well. Even if it does sometimes grow tedious.

For THE LAICOS PROJECT, I cannot even begin to tell you how many revisions I went through before I sent it out to agents. I feel like I edited and reworked constantly. There are 40+ versions of the MS in a folder on my computer. But in terms of what I would call “significant” edits, I know I did just two.

Significant Edit #1, self induced
I spent about three months writing LAICOS. Then I walked away from it for a good three weeks. When I picked it back up and read through it, I knew immediately that it was long-winded and rambling and needed tightening. Specifically the first third of it. The initial draft was 102k. I buckled down and trimmed and revised for about a month until I topped out at 92k. That version went to my fabulous critique partner.

Significant Edit #2, critique partner driven
I knew the version I sent my CP was flawed. Deep down, I knew which areas needed work and wouldn’tcha know, she commented on exactly those issues. They were larger and more difficult edits to tackle and I think because of this I shyed away from them upfront. But with her nudging, I sat back down and rewrote the entire middle of the story, and significantly tweaked the ending. Another two months later, I had cut the overall word count down to 83k and had a story that was twice as strong as it was previously. It was worth every single second of effort.

I’m currently putting the finishing touches on LAICOS and loving every minute of it. Each time someone gives me constructive feedback on my MS and I take the time to revise, I find that I have a stronger story on hand. And that’s amazing. Revising is sometimes a challenge, or overwhelming, but how can I not love a process that consistently makes my work stronger? I hope to always feel this way about revisions!

And what about you? Do you enjoy revising? Love it? Hate it? Understand its necessity but despise every minute you spend doing it? Please share your thoughts…

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