Thursday, May 16, 2013

Write. Revise. Repeat.

Recently I attended the RT Convention in Kansas City. It was filled with interesting people, fabulous writers and more books than I could carry. And a button.

The bright yellow button, courtesy of the incredibly funny and charming Cherry Adair, says, "Write. Revise. Repeat."

I've been doing that.

Writing - sometimes a river of words, sometimes a trickle.

Revisions - oh my... did I write that? Did I think it was good? Where's my red pen?

Repetition - an endless circle worthy of Dante.

Of course I've revised before. I took my first draft and polished to a high shine. I removed every crutch word, I rewrote passive into active, I added emotion and I learned how to show not tell.

And now I revise again. This time the revisions are more important and the choices are harder. Do I rewrite the first chapter for the fifth time or start anew? Do I sacrifice lyrical description to move the plot along? Do I torture my characters enough?

If only there was a right way and a wrong way. There isn't.

As long as I'm wishing, I'd like someone to stand at my shoulder (akin to my seventh grade English teacher) and point out what I should be doing.

No right way. No wrong way. And sadly, no Dottie McCord. Just a creative process in which the ultimate decisions are left in my newbie hands.

To the friends who read and tell me my heroine is sounding a bit schizophrenic, the agent who insists my first chapter must dazzle and my dreamy husband who cooks, thank you. The end is in sight.