Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Art of Revision

Been revising a lot lately. I'm working on some sample pages for a new project and at the same time I'm finishing up a final round of revision for FINDING PARIS--which I just learned will arrive in the world on 4/21/15!!

Working on other things, too, but it's the revision that's most on my mind this morning. Mostly what's on my mind is that I am very fortunate to be working with two amazing and thoughtful editors and an equally amazing and editorial agent--all of whom care very deeply that the work I produce is the best it can be.

I showed my latest editorial letter (a short one: just 2 1/2 single spaced pages!) to my husband. I don't always do this. He has enough to do without reading what is essentially a 'do it like this' note from my boss. :) But this time he looked interested…

"That's a lot," he said.
"It's way less than last time," I told him.
"You seem happy," he said.
I was.

Not just because the edit letter was shorter. But because I am working with an editor who is incredibly vested in making this book work. Because each time I dig deep and add layers, she pushes me to go deeper. We look together at words and phrasing and pacing. At flashbacks or lack thereof.  At the narrative as a whole. At how the minor characters are working. At the big reveals and the small ones. Is everything clear? Is everything balanced? What needs to be on the page? What should remain off-screen? We look at the characters' little descriptive 'tics' and at my own as an author. Where does style slip into repetition and become less effective? How exactly should this or that be revealed?

It is hard work.
And I love it.
Digging in now.

How about you?
Thoughts on revision?

1 comment:

Lisa M. Cronkhite said...

Good luck on your revisions. I know how hard it can be. But it is very rewarding in the long run. Thanks for posting.