Well, my plan has been to work on writing the last few chapters of the novel and revise the earlier chapters at the same time. You know, one day writing, one day revision, and so on.
That plan didn’t really work out. I am making progress, however; it is not as quick as I would like for it to be.
Writing the climax of my novel is really intimidating. It’s like, it’s been in my head for so long, it’s what I’ve been working toward, and what if it doesn’t come across as well on paper? What if I fail at delivering? It’s what the readers has invested their time in reading the novel for.
So there’s that lovely little rain cloud hanging over my head.
Then, there’s the revision.
Yes, I have revised things before. How can I be in a writing program and not have done it. However, this time it seems different. Reading Chapter One and getting ready to revise it was just depressing. I looked at it and was like, “Shit, I’m going to have to rewrite the whole damn thing.” This is such crap!
Then I took a break and literally stared at the hard-copy pages I printed out. I thought about things. About revision, about how to crawl inside of something and make it all better but not waste all the words and work you’ve already put into it.
After that, I put my little bird on my computer screen and went to work.
It really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It really was like I could climb into the chapter and fix it. I cut pages and saved paragraphs. I shuffled things around and rewrote big chunks. What I found was, it was fun. I have a better handle on my characters now than I did when I started this years ago. I know who they are, how they talk, and how they react to thing. Even better, I know how to fold description into the story and eliminate huge paragraphs that are all telling and no showing. I know the weight of one perfect word over half a page of the almost right words.
It is a slow process. In a way it’s daunting and hellish, I wonder if I’ll ever get it done.
But, I just have to keep going. One page of revision at a time and writing one sentence at a time.