I have a confession to make. After I totally blew up the revision process as an epically difficult task, I’ve slowly started into it, and I’m actually finding it kind of fun.
The deal was that I just needed to transition between two very different roles: author and editor. As an author, I measured my progress in word count. Now, as an editor, I’m killing many of those painstakingly created phrases, ripping out the fat, and creating a much tighter pace and smooth story flow. But it feels really good.
After reading my first draft, I knew it was clunky, especially the first few chapters, because they were my first ever as a writer, but I wasn’t exactly sure how to make them better.
Revising, I can see that in those first few chapters, my beginner’s mistake was that I detailed second by second, every little motion. I just needed to cut, condense, and pick up the pace. After my revision of the preface and the first chapter, they are 500 words lighter, but they read so much better.
When I was beginning to size up this task, I seemed to have forgotten my days of high school speech. Back then I hated writing the first draft, but I loved polishing and revising a speech into something that was so much better than the awkward, initial product.
I guess that I enjoyed writing my novel manuscript so much that I dreaded shredding my creation, but now that I’ve successfully shifted into editor mode, I’m really enjoying it. Plus, seeing the finished product, looking so much better, is hugely encouraging.
When I posted my first excerpt of the story, I chose a portion a ways in, because I didn’t feel like my first chapters were up to par. Now, I feel ready to share the new edition (although, not necessarily the final edition) of the preface and chapter. I’ll post the excerpt in a new entry next week.