Books read this year: 9
Chapters left to revise: 5
At this point, I should get "revision is taking longer than I expected" printed on a t-shirt. Life gets in the way--both for me and for my critique partner. The job that pays my bills takes up big chunks of my time and leaves me drained. I still manage to work on revisions five or six days out of seven, but the amount that I'm able to get done is a session is less than I want it to be. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. My CP has the final two chapters. More of the manuscript has been through revision than hasn't. A couple of the chapters coming up are going to require fewer major structural changes.
But it's still a slog.
Memory is a weird thing. I've written and revised projects before--novellas, novels, shorts, even my graduate thesis. I've done this before. But the process feels so new.
When it comes to my work, I remember the beginnings. The first sit-downs with an idea are tucked into my brain like photographs in a scrapbook. I remember the pitches. I remember the proofs, my last look at the piece before it's finalized. I remember the whirlwind of releases.
Revisions, though, exist as a huge black void in my memory. Which might be why this process has felt like a fresh new hell.
If I'm being fair, I've never done revisions as extensive as the ones I'm doing now. EVIN got accepted with very few changes (in hindsight, I should have held onto it longer and done more work, but the whole process was very new at the time and I was sort of flying blind). I don't typically do revisions on shorter pieces, so "Red Snow" and "Smoke" were both published looking more or less the same as they did in first draft. "Lady or the Dagger" required only some changes in blocking.
CANUS, though, is a beast. It's more complicated than previous work I've done. There are more moving pieces, more points of view, more threads to tie together. It's more ambitious. Every part of it has stretched my abilities. So it makes sense that fixing it--taking the ideas and the moments and the lines and smoothing them into an actual book--would be more complicated.
|Revision notes for chapters 16 and 17--zoomed out because spoilers|
I'm getting close, I think. The first sixteen chapters are stronger than they were, and I've hope that the last five can be whipped into shape. But I have lately been thinking about the days when I thought writing was easy: come up with a cool idea and throw it on a page. Boom, done. I know now that it's not that simple; that I only thought it was because I didn't really know what I was doing.
Do I wish it was easier? Yeah, sometimes. It'd be nice to be done with the revisions, to have a gleaming manuscript to send out on query. Still, I think the struggle, the process, the work has been and continues to be worthwhile. It'll make this manuscript better. It'll make starting the next all the sweeter.
In the meantime, I have to put away the cookie dough and get off the floor. This book's not gonna fix itself.