A peek behind the curtain: revision

I had a lovely writing day yesterday. The Women’s Fiction Writers Association has been amazing on every level–community, networking, professional development, skill building. But just when I thought I’d discovered every way I could tap into its resources, I started attending virtual writing dates. I never used to need other people to motivate me, but in COVID world it was the only thing that worked.

Yesterday I participated in two virtual “write-in”s. (I mean, my kids didn’t see much of me, but nobody broke an arm, and I even got one of them to the library. So that’s a win, right?).

I’m revising my wine country novel, which is fun on a whole bunch of levels! Revision is a funny thing, though. I love this part of the process–far more than writing the first draft, which is among the scariest things in my writer’s universe. But there’s revision, and there’s getting READY for revision. It took me over two weeks to take the 1500 words of notes I had made about things that needed to be addressed and figure out exactly where and how to do so in the manuscript. My finished first draft came in at just over 100,000 words and I have at least 10-15K of revisions to add. That is, um, intimidating, since the final book needs to be around 90!

But now that I have done the really hard work–creating an entire story out of nothing and figuring out the broad strokes of what needs fixing once I get it on the page–the fun part begins. The farther I get into the nitty gritty of implementing my organizational work, the more confident I feel. It’s not that the book is perfect–not by a long shot. But I’m not wandering in the dark anymore. I’m getting the lay of the land, and I feel fairly confident that I can now embark into the wilderness and I have an idea where I am in space, such that I can find my way out.

This is the part where it gets fun!