on the revision process…

Just thinking…stewing…not touching chapter 1 yet…

This whole revision process is scary in a way. Can I make those earliest chapters real page-turners like chapter 25, the climax that I took for critique at writers group a couple of weeks back? (The words ‘this scene will really knock people over’ sound so sweet. Talk about ego boosting!)  🙂

This wonderful group of people has given me their thoughts on plot, characters, and my writing itself for the last three years. Will I disappoint them when I bring the revisions back to group? Or will I hit the mark? I know I’m supposed to worry about pleasing myself, but they’ve invested time in this story, too. Is a writer like a kid? I want writers group to be proud to see I followed (some of) their advice.

The ultimate goal is to convince readers to invest their time in my book. I expect the revisions to go much more quickly than the 1st draft writing. Maybe 3 months. Sound reasonable? A couple of people are interested in being Beta testers: one an avid reader, the other another writer.  They will be a good test on that 2nd draft. Then more revisions will come followed by copy editing, proofreading, and formatting.

But why is so hard to open yourself to other readers? Evil thoughts go through my mind: I want people to like what I’ve written, but the brain keeps saying they’ll think it’s a bunch of crap.  It won’t be everyone’s cup o’ tea. (Sorry Alex fans – this isn’t a Star Wars story.)  I’m realistic, okay? I agree with novelist Jody Hedlund that “When we birth our stories, no one else will have the same depth of love for our creation that we do”.

Bottom line:  what would be the point of writing if you don’t share it?

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2 thoughts on “on the revision process…

  1. I know how you feel. I didn’t like it when Tom told his colleagues and our friends I was a writer. Then they start asking if the book is done yet and want to read it and what if it’s bad? Even now, I’m uneasy telling these people about it. What if they’re put off by the genre or some of the darker content? But you’re right. What are we doing this for, if not to put it out there for someone to read?

    As for bringing revisions to the group, others have done it before. If you take 3 months, you won’t be able to read the whole thing in group. Maybe bring scenes with the biggest changes, or where you have a problem you’re trying to work through.

    • I was wondering about bringing the manuscript back to group, so that’s the perfect suggestion!

      I do feel weird about telling co-workers and casual FB friends about my novel because I know they’ll be judging me. I guess there’s no way around that since I haven’t hidden the fact that I’m writing it. I’m hoping that those who read my short stories (whether they liked them or not) will give this a chance (though different genre). I’ve matured as a writer; gotten better at the craft (or so you’ve told me)!

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