I’m not in a revising place right now. Not formally, anyway. All this angst about revision makes me want to hurry up and get there because I actually like that part. Here are my five random reasons why revising rocks:
1) Revision is forgiving. Literally broken into parts, the word means to see again. Or re=again and vision=see. I like that I get another chance to work with the draft I’ve made. Sometimes it’s exciting to dive into 200 pages and other times I dip into what I wrote the day before if I’ve had a “vision” of a better scene.
2) Revision is creative. Unlike copyedits (which Susan is recovering from now. Please bow your head and say a few words) first revisions allow for the author to go crazy and rip and tear and adjust the draft to fit anything new. I do as many as I need to get the story right. When it goes to the editor and she sends notes back, that’s a whole other kind of revision. I loved that part, too. My editor saw things that I couldn’t and it made the story better. Things like inconsistent motivation, changes in tone, in dialogue, and weak spots.
3) Revision is reflective: When I revise I get to look back instead of forward and I like that. To me it’s a time of questioning if certain ideas worked or if they need some of that ripping and tearing I said was so creative.
4) Revision is writing: I am not a writer who is possessive about her story. In fact, sometimes I’m too willing to let go and work a new angle, character, or plot twist. So, while I’m revising I always check into the internal plot, the external plot and I keep writing it until I’m done.
5) Revision is still (mostly) in my control. Depending on where I am in the process, while I’m revising I’m still in the driver’s seat. My writer friends can talk and suggest and say whatever they think, but the changes are up to me. When my editor talks that’s a little different. And then when the copyeditor talks that’s, well, that’s another way of seeing.