Revising in the dark.

With the madman phase of writing out of the way, a draft completely written and read, and possible revisions noted, I now face the abyss of revision. I was wondering why things had slowed to a halt, why I was avoiding this part of completing my project. I engaged so vigorously and ceaselessly in the creation of an initial vision, knowing where I might go and eager to see where I would end up. Before I knew it, I had written a young adult fiction novel. Of course, revisions would be necessary. There were characters to round out, plots to cohere, worlds to build, layers to add…and there are still all of these things. When I think about tackling these matters, I’m invigorated. When I try to tackle these matters, I’m lost. The problem is that I have no idea when I’ll be able to say that things are finished, that there’s nothing else I can do from my own perspective that will strengthen the narrative and make an audience care about the characters. Is it the letting go of my creation that I fear? Is it not knowing when to stop molding it and imposing my will on it? Is it uncertainty in general, which is also inherent to this very question? Regardless of the source, I’ve been paralyzed in the process recently. It’s not writer’s block. I have ideas. It’s something else. I suppose I simply have to turn away from it and get back to the characters. Let them tell their story instead of trying to control it for them.

2 Comments

  1. dasfuller

    Something inside of you is balled up into a fist. Unclench that fist and reveal the manuscript in hand. Offer that open hand (with manuscript sitting atop it) to a willing reader. That reader is not me (got my own writing right now). You know what to do.

    Reply
    1. nmp3102

      I will be that reader, Lou, should you want it. I’ve volunteered for this before and will again. I have been so excited about this project for MONTHS (Kristina and I were reminiscing about the initial discussion last spring) and would love any way to help.
      – Nicole

      Reply

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