Revision Woes

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Revision Woes

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Tue Mar 29, 2016 4:15 pm

I wasn't really sure where to put this topic as it relates to everything in the writing hut, so I thought I'd put it here. I'm not sure how many people are revising their novels during this camp, but I figured that I'd set up a topic just for this. That way, people can choose to come here and comment or share their experiences/woes.

I've completed my novel and am in the process of revising it. When it comes to revision, (at least when I do it (which I've only ever properly revised this one book)) I look at my work and groan, "How could anyone possibly find this interesting?"

I look at the poorly written descriptions, the bad grammar, the awful and clumsy dialogue and think, "What the hell was I thinking? This is so bad... I really shouldn't have let my Brain Storm Trooper read this..."

And that saying, "Editing/revision can be fun." Well, it was anything but fun for me. I secretly thought that those that enjoyed this process were masochists (I apologise to those that do enjoy it).

All of those revision passes of my book that I did, felt like I was crawling over broken glass. I was cringing at everything, second-guessing every word/sentence/paragraph/chapter. Feeling sick at every plot hole, every time a character didn't act congruently... Always questioning my ability to become a published author.

At least, that's how it first started out (the first few months of this year that I spent on revising). But I pushed through all of that doubt and uncertainty (the whole 'feel the fear and do it anyway' mentatlity), I continued despite the torturous process and surprisingly now I don't think my work is awful. It's still bad, but it can be fixed, at least. And I know more about how to fix it.

After participating on this forum, rereading my old (unrevised) books and seeing how I've progressed as a writer, I'm finding that revision isn't as terrible as it first was. Yes, there was that horrible, cringe-worthy period of learning how to revise and contemplating headdesking or throwing my precious laptop out the window. But now that I see how I've progressed as a writer, and can look back and track my improvement (it took ten books to be able to do this, btw), it's finally feeling achievable.

I finally believe that saying, "The more you write, the better you become." It's not just something that authors are talking about any more, it's happening to me.

I'm not saying that I'll be able to enjoy this process from now on but I am saying that I think I'm over the worst of it (this statement may change over the next month). My book isn't as bad as it first seemed (this statement may also change over the next month Razz )

Maybe it's the distance I've given myself from the first draft, maybe it's the fact that I see my progress and have learned more about writing fiction. Maybe I've just built up more resilience, maybe it's the fact that I know how to improve my writing instead of just staring at it, wide-eyed and pale. Maybe it's combination of all of the above.

Anyway, I thought I'd just share this (very honest) experience of my revision woes and how it's not as woeful as it once was.
avatar
Poetic-Jessie

Posts : 123
Join date : 2016-03-19

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Revision Woes

Post by Call Me Nefret on Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:50 am

I've been trying to revise the novel I wrote in Camp NaNo last July. For me, it was a lot of "oh my god, this actually doesn't suck!" Of course there are things that need to be reworked, but I'm actually proud of it. It was the first moment of, "I might actually be able to do this". But I did go over and over the length of it. Even double spaced (I formatted it to industry standard) it's like 250 pages. I don't know why that bugs me as much as it does, but there ya go.

I don't mean to say that it was automatically good and didn't need revising, but I was happy that it wasn't as terrible as I thought. Because whenever I go to edit something, I go in thinking it'll be god awful. No matter how many times it ends up being decent, the next time I have to revise something I'm right back to "do I reeeeally want to see how horrible this is?"
avatar
Call Me Nefret

Posts : 87
Join date : 2016-03-20
Age : 24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Revision Woes

Post by Elowen-Astrid on Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:06 am

Poetic-Jessie wrote:I finally believe that saying, "The more you write, the better you become." It's not just something that authors are talking about any more, it's happening to me. 

I have no experience at revising fictional work. I left the short pieces I wrote before as they were but I believe this as well. From my rather short experience as a writer I did learn that the more I write, the more I learn about writing. I still have a long way to go, but it really makes me happy to know I am learning and I am getting better. 


Call Me Nefret wrote:I don't mean to say that it was automatically good and didn't need revising, but I was happy that it wasn't as terrible as I thought. Because whenever I go to edit something, I go in thinking it'll be god awful. No matter how many times it ends up being decent, the next time I have to revise something I'm right back to "do I reeeeally want to see how horrible this is?"

I know this feeling. I have the same problem as well. It doesn't matter what I wrote; fiction, a research paper, an essay. I always start with "it is awful" and "I don't really want to do this it is embarrassing."
avatar
Elowen-Astrid

Posts : 102
Join date : 2016-03-19
Age : 24
Location : The Netherlands

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Revision Woes

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:22 pm

So... It's the 4th day of April and I haven't really made much progress on my revision. I'm actually procrastinating with spell-checking my most recent work and reading the book start to finish to see if the final encounter works with the story and characters...

I've got three pieces of paper to my right which state where the POVs went wrong in my Phoenix book. They're looking at me and I'm determinedly ignoring them and especially ignoring the stack of paper beside them which hold all of the other issues I need to fix...

I realise that posting this is a form of procrastination but still... Even though this revision has been made incredibly easy by the revision plan I'm following, I still find that I'm avoiding the figurative eyes of my POV sheets.
avatar
Poetic-Jessie

Posts : 123
Join date : 2016-03-19

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Revision Woes

Post by Waterfall17 on Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:15 am

Revision's going well over here, but man...definitely going through the "What is this? Just no. And this!" Commence head-desking at length

I used to go about revising in a particularly stupid and inefficient fashion: instead of targeting big picture items, I focused on things like diction. Nothing wrong with looking at diction IF you're actually keeping the section, of course, or if you happen to randomly think up the perfect-fitting word without wasting any time.

But large portions of things I wrote were axed, so revising diction was a complete waste of time! Thus far this go round I've cut sections and made a lot of notes and comments (in and out of text) to help myself keep track of what needs to be taken care of for the next round (or day, as the case may be). I also have a handy list of what I know I need to revise and am checking it off as I go.

I already know the parts I'm revising aren't going to be revised enough to be considered polished, but it'll be a good start and will allow me to focus on details to get to a more polished state...to ship to crit partners to shred...and then to revise again and ship to betas before querying.
avatar
Waterfall17

Posts : 30
Join date : 2016-03-20

View user profile http://www.lynannecarroll.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Revision Woes

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:15 am

I've decided to rewrite my introductory chapter... I'm torn between fixing it up (adding all of the description) before I rewrite it so I can just cut and paste later on or if I should rewrite and then add the descriptions...

I guess the descriptions are the easy part (comparatively), because I know how to do that... But the rewrite... I don't even know where to start...

I realise this is rather inefficient of me but I don't know how to change it and I feel I'd be headdesking within thirty seconds.

So, description it is!
avatar
Poetic-Jessie

Posts : 123
Join date : 2016-03-19

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Revision Woes

Post by Call Me Nefret on Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:45 am

Looking over my recent story, I've realized how hard it's going to be to edit my current. It's going to be longer than any manuscript I've edited before. And there are so many plotlines I'm going to need to keep a handle on as I work. I'm happy that I'm capable of making longer, complex stories. But I do not look forward to actually beginning the revision process. XP
avatar
Call Me Nefret

Posts : 87
Join date : 2016-03-20
Age : 24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Revision Woes

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:24 pm

I've been in full revision mode for the last week (one of the reasons I haven't participated in the forums). I thought I had pretty much finished the first part of my book (it started off at 32,000 words and now it's a novel in itself at over 50,000 words). So if I do ever publish it, I may need to break it into sections instead of selling a 150,000 word book...

Anyway, I got off track. I thought the first part was pretty much finished with only about 5 clunky paragraphs left. But then last night, as I was making those paragraphs flow, I ended up adding more scenes. This time the scenes were exploring relationships between my characters indepth and I think the book is better for it. But I've somewhat come to the conclusion that if I don't set an end date for my revision, I'll be forever adding and exploring and it will never be done.

Maybe I should just say, "She'll be right, mate," and move onto the next section of the book on the 1st of May. But I don't know, I've never got my work to this standard before (where I'd be happy for people for read it). Well, I've got assignments to this standard, but 2,500 is very different to 50,000 words.

I guess there's a perfectionist inside of me that I squashed when I wrote the first draft and now it's coming back with a vengeance, demanding that I fix this and explore that and change this other character so people will find the book enjoyable when they finally read it. But changing some characters, rewriting their dialogue... I'm not sure if it's taking the edge out of the story or making those characters show a different side of themselves to the one they initially displayed in the first draft. -sigh- And this indecision about my characters makes my perfectionist side demand that I continue working on it until it's perfect...

It's a vicious cycle... So, I think I will break this by setting the end date of my first part on the 1st of May, then move onto the second part and maybe give myself 3 weeks to rewrite it, then move onto the third part after that (also with 3 weeks)... This may be a punishing schedule and I could end up not wanting to even look at my book at the end of it... But I need to do something, otherwise this will never be complete. And I really want to complete it.

I'll try and be more active on the forums and provide feedback again soon Smile
avatar
Poetic-Jessie

Posts : 123
Join date : 2016-03-19

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Revision Woes

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:59 pm

I'm in the final stages of revising the second part of my book. I've changed two of my characters and had to rewrite all of their dialogue and how they interact with every other character... That was tedious and made me go play more than a few hours of Dragon Age Inquisition... And I ended up ignoring my book for like three weeks...

But once I got past that, I went back to revising, adding descriptions, detail, actions in the dialogue. I also wrote a few new scenes which have expanded my 50,000 word second part into 70,000 words... So, I'm definitely going to have to break this book up, otherwise it'll end up as a 180,000 word book...
avatar
Poetic-Jessie

Posts : 123
Join date : 2016-03-19

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Revision Woes

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum