One of the elements of the writing process that has been a constant uphill battle for me is revisions. Revisions! Revisions! Revisions! It’s one of the most important parts of the process next to drafting – getting it all on paper. The revision process has been a thorn in my side. But the crazy thing is, it’s not that I hate it. I don’t hate reading through my story and seeing how my characters grow and develop throughout the story. I don’t hate reading how the drama between characters unfolds or admiring how well I developed a scene. I don’t even hate catching the rough patches where I hold my manuscript at arms length and say, “What? What the hell was I thinking when I wrote that?” Those lend themselves to comical moments in writing and greater development.
No, it’s none of those things that make me struggle with revising a manuscript. What it is is how long the process can take. I tell you, I never realized what an impatient person I am until I decided to write for the world. Even as a teacher, I thought I was only impatient with things that were mainly behavior-related with my students. But I’m sure if I had an opportunity to ask any of my former students now, they would probably erupt in laughter at the idea that I thought I was a patient soul. Because I definitely see it now.
I wish I was the individual who could take my time and enjoy it. But I think I’m that girl that needs to get it done and get it done now. It’s probably why I prefer running over walking, or fast food over nicer establishments. I want it now-now-now and it’s become so evident in my revision process.
Now, you would think that impatience would encourage me to just sit down and get it done so I’m not dragging out the process. But my brain doesn’t work that way. Even if it takes two weeks, that’s two weeks too long. But unfortunately, the story can’t happen without the revisions, and it’s the single reason why my manuscripts are piling up.
It takes me forever because the story is ever changing and ever evolving and I become frustrated because I just want to end my story already and it’s just not there yet. Then I end up setting it aside and starting a different project which ends up in the “walk away” pile once I hit the brick wall of revisions.
I have to find a way to get through them. I have to. And honestly, I don’t know where to start. But here is what some of the experts suggest:
Writer’s Digest offers tips on making revisions to get you started.
I like the way Katherine Ochee goes into detail about each phase of the revision process on her Writer’s Edit blog
I’m late in the game with researching getting through revisions. I will definitely be applying some of these tips in hopes that they will help me get through at least one of these manuscripts more effieciently. I can already tell that any of these tips would be a much better approach to the process than what I’ve been doing.
Taking a broad approach to the revising can be overwhelming and frustrating. I’m looking forward to a more honed in approach in hopes that it will help focus my attention where it needs to be through the progression of my manuscript.
Please understand, no writer will finish a manuscript with only one phase of revisions. I know this, I understand it and I accept it. It’s just taking me way too long to get through even the first round and that needs to change.
Look for updates on which tips were effective and which ones weren’t as helpful. I’ll use it on my current manuscript in hopes that it will get me to the next stage of publication a little faster. Please share your ideas on how you get through revisions. What works for you?