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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K is for Kill Your Darlings

And for Kristin Hersh

It's revision time. And it's come much sooner than I thought it would. I thought I'd be finished with the first draft before I had to revise. Silly me. I got as far as I could with my cast of misfits before screeching to a halt (as I've mentioned, on the road to Damascus) within spitting distance of the end. I couldn't go forward because I had to go back. There's a lot of advice out there on when to revise, how to revise, etc. And it's all good advice, but I think it varies depending on what's going on with your WIP. I'd been able to hurtle along without really developing a key aspect of my MC because I had PLOT. I had shite going down! But the crucible for my MC, the place where he has to pony up and show what he's made of, well. Let's just say that what I wanted him to do and what he could do -seeing how he was written - the twain could not meet.

So I got out the shears and, like Inigo, I went back to the beginning.

Revising isn't fun, not at all. But it is satisfying. It's like saving money at a shop or fixing something you thought was so broken you'd have to go out and get a new one. It's the satisfaction of saving the day.

I'll be revising for the next month at least. I plan to revise while at the Pennwriters Conference in May. I will be sporting this shirt, available from cafepress, during the revision process. It helps me remember to slaughter the sacred cows of my prose.

What do you do to keep revising till it hurts?

2 comments:

  1. I'm revising right now and what keeps me going is the idea that I'm improving the previous draft. I try to set a daily goal and meeting that goal also keeps me going.

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