Thursday, July 1, 2010

If only someone had EXPLAINED beforehand...

So, I don't know if many of you know this or not, but revisions are HARD. Like, WAY hard. To which I say: what the what, man? I did all the hard work of plotting, writing, replotting, rewriting, moving stuff around, holding imaginary conversations with myself in the shower. Isn't that enough, great write whale of a muse? Isn't that enough?!? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?

Apparently more character development and a stronger relationship between the two MCs. Siiiigh. Fine. But now I have to go back through ALL OF THOSE CHAPTERS again and tweak and add and delete and stand back and tilt my head to one side and then shake my head and erase everything and then throw my computer against a wall and have some vodka. I'm good at plotting, I'm good at moving a story forward, I'm good at adding in little mini-stories that keep the main story interesting. What I'm not so good at: character motivations and romantic interactions.

Don't get me wrong, I know what makes a guy hot (uh...sorry if you're reading this, Dad). But putting that down on paper...way harder than I thought. And what's even harder to guess is how other people will react to a character. Obviously you shouldn't write to please other people, but it helps if you want to sell any books. And figuring out how to get your story from "pretty good" to "holy crabcakes I couldn't put the durn thing down" is nigh upon impossible.

So I've been in kind of a revision funk. Not sure where to take my characters, not sure I'm doing enough, not sure I'm not doing too much, etc. If you're in revisions, how do you move yourself out of the rut?


Tere Kirkland said...

Okay, this might sounds weird, but...

I was recently doing some revisions, and while I had some betas reading over my changes, I started working on a sequel. Nothing serious, just something where I could take the characters and remind myself why I loved them in a low stress environment.

I think I'm a better writer now than when I started that novel, so it was really helpful to me to have an exercise where I could practice showing character.

Probably the last thing you want to do is write something new that won't wind up in the book, but this exercise allowed me to think about the characters in a different way. Not to mention, it's good to get out of editing mode every now and again.

Good luck!

Jaydee Morgan said...

I definitely feel your pain - and it's probably why I take so long to finish my first draft. I want to get most of it "right" so that the revisions aren't so terribly frightening. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I am full of sympathies: I know why I like a guy, but getting that across is so difficult. I haven't been at the revisions stage yet, so I can't give any advice, but good luck!