Ooof, revising is some kind of process, I’ll tell you what. Today, I sat down and made a list of the scenes that I thought I’d need to insert into the novel between where I am (the halfway point) and the 2/3rds point. Adding scenes to a mostly-complete novel is an amazing feeling. On the one hand, I have complete freedom to do literally anything I can imagine. But, on the other hand, I don’t really want to disrupt the overall structure. Thus, I’m left looking at the shape of the manuscript and thinking very deeply about what I need to happen, and I’ve actually come up with some very elegant solutions that I’m very happy with.
Adding new words to the manuscript is also weird, because you worry about losing the voice. For awhile, I was really worried because the new scenes I was adding didn’t sound quite right. They were more searching and vulnerable. The character was coming off less sure of what to do and who she was, and I kept trying to compensate and bring a little bit of that other stuff back. But then I was like, “Wait a second. There’s a reason for this. What I’m trying to do with this revision is to add those shadings to her character.” If I’m successful, the character will always be recognizably herself, but there’ll be different shades to her character depending on who she’s interacting with. I think there’s a reason that the two storylines I’ve been spending the most time on are the two most complex and unsettling relationships that she has.
In the end, who can say how good this revision is. I’m caught up in the middle of it, so I think it’s going great. For this novel, I wrote a very complete and very readable first draft, but it’s really astonishing how much has changed since that draft. It’s not that anyone has been cut out or anything. It’s that the weights shifted. One love interest turned into an extremely minor character. The other two became much more complex people. The main antagonist was turned into a mere foil. And the sidekick became a plotline in her own write. There’s a lot of moving pieces, and it’s interesting to see how they’ve shifted around and interacted with each other. I can’t believe that this book is actually going to come out and be on shelves for you to read. I’m very excited for that.