There is a lot of writing on my agenda these days. I’ve been hired to write two freelance articles for a technical newsletter. I’ve been asked to write a profile of a parishioner for my church’s weekly bulletin. The project I’ve spent the most time on lately has been the second draft of the novel I completed last fall.
Some authors love the phase of the writing process where they pour out the story in the first draft but hate the revision process. I’m the opposite. This book in particular seemed to take me forever to finish (paying freelance projects, day job duties and good old-fashioned procrastination had a lot to do with that.) It took me longer to write this one than either Acts of Desperation or Purgatory did. Once that first draft was done, I set it aside for a few weeks and worked on some other things. I wrote a piece that may end up in an anthology a friend is planning to publish, and I wrote a short story on a whim inspired by a conversation I had on Twitter. The story was goofy and fun, but I have no idea what I’ll do with it. Eventually, I’m sure I’ll submit it to a few markets and see if I get any nibbles.
Having returned to the novel, I find that I really enjoy the revision process. I can spot the places where my character descriptions need beefing up. Words that I use repeatedly start to jump out at me (my characters tend to snort a lot.) Little inconsistencies become obvious. I find that making these repairs is a whole lot easier than creating the world and the story in the first place.
While the entire novel has not gone out to beta readers yet, one of my friends read a few of the chapters as I was writing the first draft. She gave me a lot of valuable feedback, and my first pass at revision focused on many of the issues she raised. Now, I’m going through the book scene by scene and making changes. Once this round is done, I’ll be ready to turn it loose on beta readers. That’s always a scary prospect, but it’s an exciting one, too.
More to come as this work moves from my laptop to readers’ eyes.
Leave a Comment