Monday, July 19, 2010

The Trials of Revising

Twitter-friend @trinza (aka Zachary Tringali), posted about his troubles with approaching revisions. Sucked into revision-mode as well I can fully commiserate and posted the following on his blog:

I agree that revisions can be DAUNTING (and moving doesn't help). Not only are you trying to refine the work to make it better, but things get added, removed, rearranged, and edited. Constantly running the risk of derailing good flows, messing with plotlines and other problems that can arise when you lose sight of the entirety of the story amidst all the various distractions of work, family and other entertainment.

My book about a character named Hestea Hammerblood keeps evolving--mostly for the good--but when I was reading a couple of the early chapters to my wife recently, I could not stop myself from cringing at the severe infodumps and horrible over-explanations that ensued. Ugh!

It was good to cringe though: I think it finally hit it home for me that as much fun as it can be to devise the backstory, it is no fun to read all of it in one massive steaming pile. So I've now written a new prefacing chapter, and am going through my early chapters to try and slim them down. More importantly I realized that many of the things I am dumping on readers right away don't need to be. I have no interest in them being secrets, but they can be parceled out to the reader slowly to make it more digestible and evolve the story in a way that makes it more interesting as new things are always being discovered.

It will be a lot of work.

But, then, anything worth having is worth fighting for. I believe in the story, so it is work I will persevere on. Now off to slay some hideous infodumps.

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