Monday, April 6, 2009

I am in Revision Land...

I am in Revision Land...

It's like LaLa Land, only there aren't celebrities. It's like FairyLand, only there aren't fairies. It's like CandyLand, only there is candy. Because if there were candy, I would not actually do any revisions. 

I really don't like revisions. Of course, it's a necessary evil. Like, do I want my book to get published with things like "nun" when I really meant "none"? Or the word "lies" when I really meant to type "lives?" No. Because lies are evil. And so are mistakes.

Still, revising sucks.

Some authors like revising. Making things better. Making things perfect.

Not me. I hate revising. Know why? Because revising is ADMITTING I am not perfect and that the first draft of my novel was not perfect. That it had mistakes like "mercenary" when I meant "missionary".  Just joking. I really don't talk about missionaries or mercenaries, but do you remember that episode of Joe Millionaire? I'd find the clip for you, but I'm supposed to be revising, not watching YouTube.

Anyway, the other day I had tea with a PR rep and she asked how the book was going. 

"I'm just about to start my revisions," I told her.

"Revisions? Why do you have to do revisions?" she asked, shocked.

Exactly my point!

But it's something all writers must do. Except maybe John Grisham or Margaret Atwood or Stephen King. They probably write a perfect draft on the first time round. Or rather, revise it enough themselves before giving it to their editor.

Not me. That's not my style. I like to write one draft, call it perfect, hand it in, cross my fingers and hope for the best. Clearly my finger crossing isn't working. I'm going to have to work on that. You know, when I'm not revising.

To be honest, my editor's notes were not that bad. They were clear and thorough and filled with lots of good things to think about. And actually, I don't think the revisions will be very hard at all.

I just really have to get to actually starting my revisions. So far, I've accomplished an entire week of denial. Here's how it played out:

Monday: She hasn't sent notes. Maybe the book is perfect!

Tuesday: I've got the notes. They're not that long. Maybe the book is perfect!

Wednesday: Maybe the notes were for another author. Maybe book is perfect!

Thursday: The notes are definitely for me. It's okay. They're not that bad. Maybe the revisions will only take a day. I'll just put it off for a few more days.

Friday: It could take a few days to revise 335 pages. Maybe I should start. Tomorrow.

Saturday: I deleted a few paragraphs. Then added them back in. Then I went out for brunch.

Sunday: I did my laundry and I hate doing laundry. Then I went to a bridal shower. I love bridal showers. Then I watched Bridget Jones's Diary for the millionth time, which reminded me that Helen Fielding probably didn't write that book in one fell swoop. She probably did a revision. 

And so, therefore, will I. 

But not before I play this one clip...


lindsay said...

i vote any revisions can wait when bridget jones is on! in all her socially awkward, bunny costumed, big panty glory.

Suzanne Gardner said...

Wouldn't it be nice if writing novels was just like writing blog posts? Write one draft and then forget about it! So much easier! :)