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Feb 27, 2009

When to Revise, When to Relent

I know. I said no more rewrites of Book 1. I promised I would go on with the rest of the series.

And if this series is no good -- then let it be. Start something new.

But I'm not rewriting for the sake of rewriting. Or just because I'm depressed my full was returned with a polite "it's not there yet." Well, okay maybe it is in response to the agent's commens on the full, and to the advice I garnered from the Secret Agent Contest, and from meditating on High Concept. If I didn't have respect for those two agents, I wouldn't take their advice, but I do respect their opinion, so I'm taking a hard look at my story.

Mostly, however, it's because I have a great idea how the book can be improved which is still in keeping with my original vision for the story. In fact, I think it captures the heart and soul of the story even better.

Yet, I am still trying to rewrite cautiously. There's always the temptation to rewrite to the point one is writing an entire new book -- in which case, why not just write an entire new book? I will never be completely satified with my book, because it will never be perfect. I have to relent eventually, and just let it be complete rather than perfect.

I'm still excited about the changes I've made. *grin*


Sara Raasch said...

Changes can be good. Changes can be our friend. Changes can also leave us sobbing into our keyboard at 2:30 AM, wondering why we ever listened to them. Part of growing as a writer, I think, is being able to distinguish when a change is good or bad.

Natalie Whipple said...

Ah revisions. It sounds like the ones you have in mind are the good kind. Good luck with them.

I, too, am embarking on a substantial revisions. Gulp.

Tara Maya said...

I am absolutely sure that this revision will either turn the book into a thing of beauty at last, or else shatter any last smidgeon of logical cohesion the book possessed into a thousand senseless scenes.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Editing/rewriting is dangerous territory. There's a point where you do have to stop and let your work go out there. If it comes back needing more work, work on it again.

This businesses is a constantly evolving and changing being. It is never truly finished. I did a post on this exact thing just recently, as I am frustrated with the constant changes and revisions I am doing on my own two novels.

I agree with sraasch, who is says part of growing as a writer is distinguishing what is good and bad, and when are simply overediting.

I think the key is to not lose your voice!