The jig is up
I have a confession to make: I’ve been using this blog as a distraction. As long as I’m writing blog posts, filling my time by comparing myself to Batman and reviewing books written by 10-year-olds, I don’t have to do the one thing that I’ve been dreading and avoiding for months now—revising The Dependants.
Oh, I how LOATH revising my novels. I find revising even more overwhelming and intimidating than writing the darn thing in the first place. My mood is inversely proportional to how far along I am in this process.
In the beginning: I’ve just finished writing a novel. A WHOLE novel. And I’m stoked because I did it. I worked super hard and feel like the end is in sight. There’s just one tiny thing that still needs to be done: sending the book off to a couple of (or half a dozen) beta readers. These kind people will give me their honest opinions about what works and, more importantly, what doesn’t work in the novel.
A couple of months in: I hear back from my beta readers. The good ones break it to me gently: The book needs some work. Okay, I think, I can take it, and I ask them each to bring it on. I hear a range of things, anywhere from, “I don’t like the title,” to “Nothing really happens in the first half of the book.” Changing the title—comparatively easy. Resolving the fact that this person thinks nothing really happens for 150 pages—terror inducing. I try to remain a rational, functioning member of society, take a few deep breaths, and start revising, whatever that means, because at this point I have no idea what I need to do to the first half of the book to make things work.
Two MORE months later: Using the term “basket case” to describe me at this point might be drastic. Well, no, I think it about sums it up. While I’ve rewritten and revised quite a few things, in general I have no idea how to fix the book as a whole. I have no idea why the beta reader(s) think whatever it is they think about the book. I don’t know what in the world I need to do. Is the book almost done? Or do I need to rewrite the whole thing? Who knows. It’s too stressful to even think about.
So what do I do? I blog! About goofy book covers! About getting a B in sixth grade on an essay about a nose! I think I can come up with any number of things actually. Anything to keep me from facing THE BOOK.
But a lot of time has passed. I’d like to query this book in the fall, and that means I need to get on this revising thing. Oh, how I dread what’s next, but it has to be done. The task has grown larger and scarier during the months I’ve put it off, which makes it all the worse. But, again, it has to be done.
Anyone out there have the same allergic reaction to revision? Or really ANY giant task?
Image from FunGagz.Posted by Meredith | 2 comments