I know what needs done, I swear. But it’s not happening on its own. Sure, I’ve had plenty of good excuses. I’m finishing up grad school this semester . . . um, there must have been some other good excuses? Anyway, I finished the rough draft of CODENAME: Werewolves in February. I let it sit a month like all the advice says. I read it through without letting myself make all the tiny editing tweaks I wanted to. I came up with a list of scenes that need fixing, details that need smoothed throughout, characters that need developed.
And then I froze revising the first major scene.
It’s an important scene. The decisions I make here will cascade throughout, so I should do it before I make all those minor tweaks, since some of them might change again anyway. But I just can’t force myself into it.
Thinking back on it, I’ve never done much revising. I’ve done plenty of editing, combing through a scene for awkward wording, adding character-building details, merrily inserting scenes and whole chapters. But I’ve never sat down with a scene and said: This needs to accomplish this purpose, so I will rewrite it thus.
I didn’t even revise my papers very much in college. And I was an English major, so I wrote a lot of papers. And that might be part of my problem. I learned how to write papers that were “good enough” back when all I cared about was a grade. But now I don’t want it to just be “good enough,” I want it to be good. Clearly, I have a lot to learn.