My revisions to Veronica Speedwell #2 are almost finished. I have a due date of August 31 that was graciously extended to September 7 since editor is on vacation, but as that overlaps book tour–and I don’t write when I travel–the end of August it is!
And I’m grateful. This book has been a beast, fighting back from day one. I wrestled and struggled and pushed and prodded and slashed and hashed, and it wasn’t until two days before I left for England that I GOT IT. That was during my first round of revisions and I finally realized what I had been missing. I understood which characters I had left out who needed desperately to be incorporated. It was like making Thanksgiving dinner but forgetting the dressing. The turkey and the mashed potatoes and gravy might be fine, the bedrock of the meal, but without the dressing it all seems a bit meh.
Since I figured out what zippiness I was missing, putting it in has been a piece of cake. This book has–since I began this round of revisions–been like slipping out of a confining dress and putting on your favorite robe. It’s been easy and relaxing and comfortable and FUN.
Here are some thoughts I wrote about revising in 2009. They’re even more apt today.
I used to loathe revising. It made me ill to have to go back and revisit something I had already written. But from experience I’ve learned to love revising. It’s like the girl you met in school and were totally prepared to hate until you discovered you had eleventy million things in common and became BFFs. Revising is now my BFF. That doesn’t mean I still don’t have to talk myself down off the ledge every time I start, but it does mean I have come to appreciate how much SIMPLER it is to deliver a good scene when you have the bones in place and just have to tweak it as opposed to building a rocket ship from parts every time. And it’s tremendously fulfilling to take the raw scene and shape it into something wonderful–it’s like birth, only without the good drugs and messy bits.
Because I worked hard at putting the bones together, I had a good framework for assembling the rest. It was DEVILISH trying to make it work, but I got there in the end, for which I’m heavingly grateful. Of course, I’m going to be nibbling my nails, hoping that my agent and editor like it–this is the first manuscript I’ve done with my shiny new editor!–but I know that whatever the feedback is, this book is now MILES better than what it was when it began.