Thursday, March 27, 2008

Revising

This is harder than I thought. It's quite one thing to revise 150 words, making each word shine. I can't even think about the words right now for my novel. I need to think of the big picture. Does this chapter even belong? Shouldn't this little bit come before that bit? Would my character do this? During the writing of this novel, I've gotten to know her better, know all these story-people better. And what fits the plot doesn't necessarily ring true. So, must rethink. A lot of re-visioning. Parts of it are dead on ... and other parts ... dead beat.

Sometimes I do math ... a little number-crunching is not only relaxing but puts things into proper perspective. A short story typically takes me a month to write and about a year to polish. Sometimes more, especially if it's poetic, where every word counts. Sooooo, if a thousand words takes me one year to polish, will fifty thousand take me fifty years? I hope not. I'll be in my 90s by then ...

I have to remind myself that I like to revise, make every word shine, but I also feel overwhelmed at the task at hand. I know I'll be very happy when the overarching things are fixed. Then I can get to examining each sentence, each phrase, each word ...

How do you approach revisions?

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3 comments:

Angela said...

I feel the same way. It seems like the bigger the novel, the farther I feel from ever being able to make it into a salable product. There's so many thing to consider to make everything work in harmony. I love the drafting part, but find the revising part can be overwelming at times.

Congrats on starting a blog, BTW!

Ghost Girl said...

Welcome to blogland, Vijaya! And don't worry. You will find that some days you just get into a groove, and the revisions fly) Some days are hair-pullers, that's for sure. But remember, with a novel, sometimes you just have to let go. Allow yourself the freedom to let some of the less-than-perfect words ride on their own for a while. You'd be amazed how often the story actually finds its way without you.

You don't have to see every detail all at once. As a good friend used to tell me, "Let it breath..."

Mary Ann

Vijaya said...

Thanks. With short stories you can keep the entire arc in your head. Ghostgirl, I need to get out of my own way sometimes.