Sunday, December 20, 2009


I dislike revising. I always did. I think I picked up the bad habit of not revising in college when I was still naive enough to believe that a poem was perfect the first time I put it on the page. I had this crazy notion that, since poems were my thoughts and emotions, they didn't need revised. This bad habit even lasted until grad school, where I often despised my poems because I was under so much pressure to write poems that were "publishable" and "accepted" instead of poems that were true to my style. As a result, if I didn't have to revise a poem for class, I didn't. I hid it away and didn't look at it again.

Now that I'm writing for children and teens and seriously pursuing publishing novels for the first time, revision has become part of my daily writing life. The hard truth is, you cannot get a novel published without hours of revisions. There are the pre-submission revisions, then the post-acceptance revisions, and even last minute before it goes to the publisher revisions! It seems to never end. For me, revising is still my least favorite part of the writing process. I will enjoy every moment of writing a novel in anywhere from one month to nine months, but revisions seem to drag out forever.

Right now, I'm revising Comfort Zone (which has a new title), the young adult novel that I finished in August. Just six more chapters to go, and my writing group will have read all of it! Even though I've been revising diligently, I still don't know if it's good enough to find a home for, and that scares me. I don't want to have gone through all of this revising for nothing!


Stephen said...

Just think after all the revisions then the most likely editor will want more its hard road to the final product hang in there

Dawn Embers said...

I rarely ever did revisions in college either. The rewrites for the poetry class were difficult since most of my poems I write and then abandon. But even regular papers. I always did better when I just wrote them and turned them in. Even wrote a 20 page paper in one night once.

I get to do the rewriting and revising stage in 2010. Gonna need luck on that. Maybe having been a copy editor will help.

I did find a book for fiction writer's to help with self edits. I should get you the title some time.