This is something I was stunned to realize, here on Day 1 of 15 of my epic Fang rewrite-a-thon.
Me, the queen of revising and tinkering, enjoy first drafts?
But it’s true. Maybe it’s just being in the pits of rewriting that makes me all nostalgic for the innocence of the first draft.
But dude, wait, you might be thinking. I thought you just said you loved revising?
I mean, I do.
But rewriting is a different animal all together from revising, which is the pretty editing/tinkering crap I could waste years of my life on. Picking the right words, making sure the lyricism and rhythm of the words flow, picking just the right imagery to punch you right in the feels… ahhh, that stuff’s the best.
Rewriting is revisiting all of the shitty parts of your manuscript and staring at them. For a while. Until something clicks.
Oh yeah, this part. I hated this part. My three musketeer readers are totally right, this part sucked, you tell yourself.
And so you hack some holes in your MS. You kill your darlings! You are merciless!
I got so hack-happy with this manuscript! It felt great. Like I was pruning a runaway tree that was growing in too many directions at once. I killed my darlings! I cut precious dialogue! I was liberaaaaated!
But now I have to sit down and fill those holes back up. With something better than before.
It’s a bit daunting. I miss the exuberance of first-drafting! I love the rush of getting to know new characters and getting surprised by the shit that comes out of their mouths. I love sprinting to try and keep up with the story as it spirals away into places I never anticipated. I love becoming immersed in and exploring new worlds for the first time.
Don’t get me wrong, I want this. I want a finished, polished novel to begin querying in the new year.
But damnnnn, I’m just now beginning to realize just how painful it’s gonna be getting there.
yours from the trenches,