What happened: Twice now I have come on the blog to be all cavalier and like, yay, I’m feeling better. And then it comes back to bite me in the butt. So I’m not saying I’m better. I’m just saying things are not as bad as they have been, healthwise. Anyway.
I get in a pretty rotten emotional place when I get sick. I get tired. I feel bad. I get worried about my health and I end up not doing anything more than what needs to be done to keep my husband and I fed, clothed, and out of complete squalor. And even then, I sometimes fail. So that was last week.
What’s happening now: I’m revising and I’ve had a heck of a time with it. This weekend and earlier this week I tried several times to write the scene that seems to be missing at the end of chapter six. I’d write something and throw it out. Write something else, toss it. Nothing felt right. So then I did something crazy.
I threw out the draft and started retyping it from scratch. Well, not scratch, exactly but the last remaining hard copy I had. Now, I confess, this sounds like a gigantic waste of time, even to me. The Type As out there are probably rolling their eyes. You might be wondering, you couldn’t just edit the manuscript? Turn on track changes and go to town? No and no. I tried going that route and spun my wheels for three days. I tried it this way and typed/revised consistently for four. I like this way better. All the retyping actually helps keep me grounded in the novel so that when it’s time to completely revise or write a scene from scratch, I already feel like I’m there, you know? It’s like half the battle is already won.
At some points in the process, it’s simply data entry. At other points, it’s blood, sweat, and tears writing. But you know what? Even at the points where it’s just data entry, it’s still much better than sitting on my couch, agonizing over why I’m not creative enough to find the right ending for the end of chapter six. It feels like taking two steps back, but it’s not.
What I predict will happen: I’m still on target to have this revision finished by the end of the month. If I average about two chapters a day, I think I’ll be doing good.
What I am learning: Just as every writer’s process is different, so is every writing project. I never would have imagined doing this before, but this project calls for it and so I heed.
Happy writing, everyone!
One thought on “‘Fess Up Friday: Two steps back”
Revision is so intense, you just have to do what works for you! Even if that means retyping the whole thing to get your brain in the right place. I’m sure as you work through each revision, you’ll have to fully change less and less.
I do my first go-through on paper (print it out, handwrite the changes) which results in me nearly rewriting the entire thing, which I’ll then have to type up later anyway.