Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Revise Us, Oh Lord

Yes, I know it's supposed to be revive. And, since I haven't quite woken up yet, that one is pretty applicable, too. But since we all appear to still be on Thanksgiving vacation and in non-blogging mode, I'm just going to pose a question, even though it probably doesn't fit under the Wednesday Wonders or whatever heading. Ready?

I adore first drafts. The whole wonder (there we go; it fits under the heading now) of creating new characters, seeing how they'll interact, watching new words and new worlds appear on your computer screen...I love, love, love it. So many possibilities, then there's the rush as you finish, and typing The End feels so great.

I dread extensive revisions. I'll do them. I know they're necessary sometimes. But the temptation is strong to either put it off or scrap it altogether and start something new.

So what do you do to find the discipline and right mind-set to chop your baby to pieces and sew it back together, confident that the stitches won't show and it'll be more beautiful than ever when you're done? Do you have a certain method you follow? Or a quote you tattoo on the back of your hands so you can see it when you type? A prayer you chant? Do you not allow yourself to eat chocolate until the whole things over and sent far away?

Please share your thoughts. And if you're one of those who love the revisions stage...well, I can send you my baby, okay? :-) Maybe we could start an assembly line...


Lori said...

Not eat chocolate until... are you nuts?

I kind of like polishing. Or rather, I like the way it looks when it's done.

It's like old school Trading Spaces: The designer has a plan and great ingredients, but still, at first everything looks like a mess and everyone hates it. Then, miraculously, forty TV minutes later, it's really, really cool and the designer (unless it's Doug) is a hero.

My first draft is a messed up room with the right stuff in it (I hope). My second draft is the one the camera crews take a picture of. (Incidentally, the final draft is two years later when the feathers are chipping off the ceiling and the homeowner decides to redo it the non-shortcut/non-glue gun/non-peel-N-stick way...)

Umm. Sorry. I got a little carried away. Time to edit, maybe?

Cathy West said...

I knew this was from you even before I read the text! Ha. Where are you by the way? First draft for me - well, you know - a lot of gibberish, some diamonds in the rough, but mostly a rough attempt at my usual literary genius. Yes, I am in a good mood for a change - LOL! The hard work is when I hear the dreaded word REWRITE. Oh just shoot me now. I am right there with you! But hey, I'll do it because other people have been doing this a lot longer than I have and I respect their advice. So sometimes we just have to suck it up, give that baby a kiss and redo it. You and I can go into this together! Are you getting any of my emails?

jenness said...

Okay, Lori. I was kidding about the chocolate. (From the one who dives into the bag of chocolate chips if there's nothing else handy...)