The story of every revision I’ve ever undertaken

Setup: Alright, these notes from my agent are good, and I completely agree with him, but the problem he’s identified is hopeless! There’s simply no way to solve it!

Act One: Fine, alright, maybe I can do _something_ with this novel, but it’s going to take a radical fix! I’ll throw out everything and completely reshape the narrative!

Act Two: Here’s an email with my agent where he gently tries to talk me out of my radical solution. What is he talking about?! Ugh, this is impossible. I guess I’ll just drag my feet on this for a month and hope that a miracle happens.

Act Three: Hmm, okay, I guess I better take a look at that hopeless novel of mine (slaps palm against head) Eureka! I just realized the perfect way to subtly alter the spine of the novel without losing the core of what made it worthwhile!

Denouemont: Oh, here’s an email from my agent (or editor, or friend) with…ten more pages of revision notes.


(Revision continues apace. I’ve broken down the book, just like I now do for my works in progress, into its component scenes, writing each one on a chit of paper and then arranging them into acts. Then I fiddled with the scenes and scrapped and rewrote them. Then I developed an overall plan for the revision, and now I’ve gone back and made notes in scrivener, on each chapter, where I tell myself sort of what I’m going to do. But you know what I haven’t done?

Altered a single word of the text. Sigh, got to get to that tomorrow!)