Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Revision Diaries (4)

Dear manuscript,

I hate you.

I loathe you.

You are the bane of my existence, that which tortures me through every breath.

You fill me with despair, with anger, with frustration.


The line dividing love and hatred blurs. They are woven together with a common thread.


It is for you that I wake an hour early, drag myself to the computer and stare at the screen through sleepy eyes.

It is for you that I stay up an hour late, lying in bed, staring at the shadowed ceiling, my mind consumed with thoughts of you.

Repairing you.

Polishing you.

Making you great.

And I will. Make you great, that is. I will not rest until you shine.

I will mold you into something wonderful, and I will love you.

All I need is time.

* * * * * * * * * *

Memory is a funny thing. When I was drafting Temper I was desperate to be done. I couldn't wait to get into revisions. Polishing the words already on the page. It all seemed so easy.

Now I'm in the thick of it and wondering what possessed me to feel that way before.

I think back to the time I spent writing the first draft and my memories are fond. Now I'm itching to be there again. In the creating stage. I have pages upon pages of ideas, all of them begging to be written, yet here I am, slogging through this mess of words.

My fingers long for the freedom of drafting. They are restless. They do not like moving slowly through each paragraph, debating commas and contemplating the difference between scamper and scurry.

So which do you like better?
Writing that first draft or revising?
And does it change, depending on your progress or you mood?


  1. DRAFTING!!!!!

    Did I say that loud enough? Did I get my message across? No. Let me tell you again.


  2. I'm definitely a revision person. Rough drafting is super painful for me. My first draft is always short and choppy. I have to go back through after I write each chapter and flesh it out so the book doesn't end up being 25,000 words long.

  3. I'm in love with revisions. There are times when writing the first draft is so freeing and amazing, but then there are the times I want to bang my head into a wall, throw my computer out the window, give it all up. Revisions, for me, are fun. I get to polish my baby until it shines and that part makes me happy =)

    That said, I loved your letter to your novel! I can sooo relate!!

  4. The first draft is far and away the best feeling. A rush! Revising can be very satisfying, though, especially when you work out something that was troubling you and you know in your gut that now you've got it.

  5. Drafting is fun and liberating. But I live revising too. I revise a lot while I write so it takes me twice as long to finish anything.

  6. I'm an impatient writer. When I write my first draft I feel like I have to get all my words and ideas down before they disappear in my head. To me, the real magic happens during revisions. That's when I try to make my scenes come alive. So I'm looking forward to my revisions when I'm done with my WIP...but ask me once I'm knee deep in revising and my answer might change.

  7. I like drafting best when I'm editing and editing best when I'm drafting.

  8. I like revising...although I'm not going to claim to be good at it or anything. It's just I feel like I'm forcing myself to write the first draft but in revision it feels like I'm getting closer to where I want my manuscript to be.

    Also, your letter to your manuscript is scary...probably because it's written in a way that makes it sound like I'm your manuscript and now I want to run and hide. =P

  9. Oh, Kat, your post was like a page from my mind! I can totally relate. I was so foolish when I finished my first draft to think, "Ohmigosh! This is it! Now I just need to run through it one last time, tweak a few things here and there, and VOILA! I'm ready to submit it to the world."

    *waits for the laughter at my expense to die down*

    What a naive, uneducated writer I was. Now I'm realizing that this thing is going to have to go through, like, a bazillion drafts before it's ready. What I didn't know is that our editing/rewriting stages are when we start to pay attention to continuity, character development tweaking, sentence structure, overuse of certain words, and the list goes on, and on, and on....and on. Sometimes it feels as though I'm in a perpetual state of rewrites, never to give myself the chance to actually submit my literary obsession that yesterday I loved, today I hate, and tomorrow will love again.

    Hang in there, Kat. *ha. that makes me think of that poster of the kitten in the tree* You're awesome, and you'll get there.