Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A fight to the death

English: Fight between the French Confiance (Robert Surcouf) and the HMS Kent.

Am I a bad writer mom? I'm halfway through a major revision and I'm ready to hole the ship and watch it sink with all hands. It would cut my words from just over 100,000 to about 50,000 and that's a good thing, right?

This is my first revision since I began sending out query letters. Before that, I did about six full revisions and I'm really sick everyone in the novel. They are annoying me. When I wrote the book, the characters took on a life of their own. All I had to do was record their actions. It was fun. It was exciting. It was surprising. Sometimes the next day, when I read over what I had recorded, I'd be astounded. Where did that come from, I'd think. How did that get on my page?

It was magic.

In revision, however, everyone in the manuscript seems inept and unable to do anything for themselves. They are milling about on the stage, waiting for the director to force them to their positions, and hoping the catering truck will not be late. They have to be taken by the hand and dragged from place to place. I have to put words in their mouths. I have to make things up. It is like having two sets of newborn quintuplets to care for at once. It is exhausting.

Is it wrong for me to want to the wipe them all out? Have any of you other writers experienced this desire for a fight to the death during revision?


  1. Oh yes, definitely been there. I went through several major revisions and it got to the point where reading my MS made me feel sick. It does pass. Mostly.

  2. I'm glad it isn't just me. I've re-read my ms so many times it feels flat. Is it me, or should I toss the whole thing away? That's what we have beta readers for though, right?

    Hang in there, but make them suffer. :)

  3. Of course! It's a love/hate thing especially when you've revised and revised, then sell and you revise and revise more. But it's all good when you hold your creation in your hands. Hang in there!

  4. Always remember the wise words of a man in a velvet frock coat: If you believe in magic, magic will happen.

  5. Jenna,

    Okay, I'll trust you that it will pass...mostly.


    I'm going to have to send it through new beta readers. I can't ask the other ones to read it over again, for fear they will be equally sick of it.


    Huh? Hold it in my hands? Hmmm. Perhaps it will be worth it.


    Aaaah, yes, C.C. Humphreys and the black, velvet frock coat. Magic happens to those who believe. I do believe, I do believe, I do, I do, I do believe. Now go away you winged monkeys.

  6. I don't do revisions. It converts a work of art into a commercial product at the worst and into a worse book at the best. Which isn't much. Either a story is good or it isn't and sod the Publishers and agents. (Crouches behind the bulwarks to wait for the incoming broadsides..) ;)

  7. Jenku,

    There are those who never have to revise. I'm not one of them. Revision will make my novel better. I trust in the wisdom of others.

    I believe in magic.

  8. Kill them!!! Kill them all!!! hahahaha *evil laugh*

    Yeah, revisions are the hardest thing. I have SO much to do myself, it's a daunting task. Then when I finish I find I have added even more mistakes that I originally had...LOL...

    Keep your chin up, girl :) you're doing great! Every time you revise you make it even better. It never stops until it gets published.

  9. Emailman Kurt,

    Thanks for the pep-talk. I'll keep plugging away, but it really would be easier to kill them all. One big tidal wave and I'm done. It would be so simple.


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