Revision sucks. It sucks on a lot of levels. You know you have to do it to make your story better, but it takes so much doing, such incredibly close attention to detail and thick callouses on your heart. You’ll have to cut things that you loved writing, things you wanted your readers to know so bad, even things that you thought added layers to the story because it isn’t relevant and the trouble it’s causing is outweighing the good it’s doing. You’ll have to read through from beginning to end, searching for any tiny puzzle piece—a word or even an apostrophe—affected by the changes. You might end up deleting a whole hundred pages because things turned out differently than they did in your first, second, or eighth draft. Revision requires a fine-toothed comb and a machete. When you do it right, it’s exhausting, frustrating, and emotional—rewarding, too, but not until you get to the end.
Anyway, inspired by my lack of enthusiasm for the one goal I’ve decided to hold myself to this year (a finalfinalfinal revision of the book I’ve working-titled Halo), I’ve compiled this list of
5 Things I’d Rather Do than Revise Halo Again:
- Write this blog post.
- Random exercises I saw my sister doing the other day. (She’s on Insanity, the workout DVD for people who are serious about maximizing their workout. Dig deep!)
- Wash the dishes. (This is how I know I’m procrastinating.)
- Pay attention to my poor, neglected kids.
- This thing where I hold onto the edge of the island in our kitchen and jump as high as I can using the counter for leverage. (The object of this game is to get my feet above the countertop without falling down.)
- Read anything I didn’t write. (Yesterday I read all of the comics my friend lent me and I just started The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I’m crazy into it.)
My original 2012 goal for Halo was to get an agent by the end of the year. So far, I’ve managed to procrastinate long enough that achieving that goal is basically impossible (replies from agents can take up to two months), so I need to get this incarnation of Halo done.
I guess I should be an adult about this, buckle down, and get to work. After a couple more of these jumpy-things.