Hey there everybody! Gumiho here and I’m here to bring ya’ll more writing content. This time we’re going talk about the revising process.
Now I’ve been working on my books Vicissitude: Lost Earth and Vicissitude: Heaven Gained for quite a while and they’ve grown fat over the years as I’ve been revising and reshaping the stories. But being my first books, there was a lot of trial and error I had to go through and so many mistakes were made. So I thought I might share a few things in case maybe you’re on the cusp of revising your novel and need some advice.
1. Revising Is A Whole Different Beast Than Writing
When I started out writing the first drafts of my novels, I was so hyped on the high of creating things and getting through to the end that I was like a bullet train. Getting to the end of a first draft is no problem because it’s fun.
When I started revising, it felt like I was trying to navigate through a pitch black haunted house equipped with only a match and a stick of butter to do God knows what. Needless to say, I was lost as all hell and I was wondering if I’d ever get through any of it.
Don’t underestimate revision. It’s not the same of what you were already doing. It’s a lot of going forwards and going backwards to make sure you’ve covered up the gaping plot holes you’ve left behind for consistency and character development. And often times, my eyes felt like used dirty napkins because of all the fine-tuning to be done. It takes a lot out of you. Arguably more than writing a draft.
2. Interest fluctuates a lot more
I find it much harder to finish revisions, but that’s because all the initial fun of creation and discovery is gone. Now that’s not to say that you don’t discover anything in revision. In fact, I discovered so much about my books now that I’m going over them again.
But a major struggle that I had was plowing on ahead since I often felt like, “Hey, been there. Done that. I’m bored now. What next? Where’s the next adventure?” And it got so bad at times that I had to lay my draft down for a while.
But if you’re having this struggle of staying interested here’s a little hack that helped me: brainstorming sessions with a friend. I’ll talk more in depth on this another day maybe, but here’s the TLDR…
My friend and I get on Google Hangout and pull up a google doc with different topics, ideas, or story problems and we go through and talk about each one.This process was super helpful whenever I got stuck in my revisions, but also it stopped my boredom and kept me focused on the project whenever my mind wandered. Even to this day, brainstorming is one of my most important secret weapons in writing.
3. You Don’t Necessarily Have To Finish A Pass Before Starting Another
I’ll fess up. I’ve abandoned a few passes. Mostly due to number 2, but don’t feel bad if you find that you just can’t get through a pass. I used to think that I absolutely had to finish one to start another, and that’s not true. Though…it may not be wise to not finish a pass if you have a deadline to make and people are counting on you.
But really revision is all about layering, cutting, and tightening. As long as you’ve got a nice neat story at the end of everything, the good news is, no one really cares how you got to that point.