I am in my final two weeks of revisions on Enter Title Here. And even though I knew that I was going to be making some fairly in-depth (maybe moderate depth) changes to the book, I hadn’t imagined what it would feel like to write those changes. Like, there are new scenes and new chapters. Major scenes and major plot elements are being yanked out. Characters and relationships are very different from what they were.
And it would be comforting to say “The core of the book is the same” but I’m not even sure that’s happening. The truth is that there’s a very real change happening in terms of the character’s background, motivations, and emotional journey, and that the book is not the same anymore as the one that I wrote two years ago. Maybe I’m writing the book that I should’ve written two years ago–the one I wanted to write. But I’m not even sure that’s the case. This is something different. And parts of it are thrilling, especially when I see the book opening up and becoming warmer and more comprehensible: when I see characters getting their due and receiving the kind of understanding that I wasn’t capable of giving them back when I first wrote the book.
But it’s also scary, because what if I’m fucking it up? What if the voice doesn’t match? What if it’s become an incoherent patchwork mess? Those would not be good things.
Still, though, I have a lot of hope for this book. People liked it even in its prior form. They liked it enough to want to buy it and publish it. And I’d like to think that they’ll like this new form even more. I mean, really, the level of change and improvement is, to my eyes, pretty astonishing. But who can say? Nothing to do except to keep working!
(You can tell, from reading my posts about revising the book, that I am not a very revision-heavy writer. Other writers do not write blog posts like this, since I assume they’re very used to the book changing significantly after they write it. That’s not really my thing, though, so I’m always shocked when it happens.)