Revise, slash, and burn (then burn some more)

I received some excellent feedback this and last week from two fellow (published) writers and a very encouraging agent, and it was so inspiring that I took up the OVERBOARD manuscript again.

It’s been three months. Oh, what a different the drawer makes! I’m finally able to look at the work without attachment. It feels like a piece of writing from a lifetime ago, so I’m reading like a reader, seeing edits as I would in my job as an editor. And now I’m rewriting like a woman possessed.

All these new ideas, all these revelations–increase the external stakes, add dimension to home life, increase the tension between characters here, map the scenes again and read for tension and release, and then overall flow. Up and down, start over at the beginning of the scene, the chapter, the manuscript.

Rinse and repeat.

It’s really working. I just wonder how quickly I can incorporate necessary changes and resend to people who have requested my partial and full manuscript. I hate to swap, but I see now how to make it so much better. Knowing my own writing, I also know that I am approaching something close to “done” on this manuscript–I have a point at which I’m satisfied. I also end up making editorial changes after with my editors, but I know when I have written something good, and I’m getting closer to that standard now.

Which just goes to show that, in the future, I will need to set aside time to let go of my attachments to my writing, work on new pieces, give myself time to fall out of love with certain words, sentences, characters, and look anew. And then I’ll need to start a fire with my manuscript, burning out useful words and sections, adding the fire to scenes and characters that make the read as compelling as possible. There is only one rule, right? Never be boring.

Although that is a lifelong learning process!