Am working on revising what I would like to be my second YA novel (working title: Tell Em They’re Amazing). This one feels like it’s been going really slowly, even though that’s not actually true. I only started working work on April 16th, so actually it’s been…less than six months. Not long, in the grand scheme. The book’s already gone through two fairly substantial revisions. I sent it out to beta readers and got back fantastic comments (fantastic as in very helpful, not fantastic as in glowing) and now I’m going to do what will probably be the book’s most significant revision. It’ll definitely involve rewriting the entire second half of the book, and most likely I’ll also need to rewrite much of the first half of the book as well.
It’s been an interesting process. With Enter Title Here, a lot changed between the first draft and the final draft, but the bones of the plot remained the same. With this book, it’s different. It has a strong voice, and it’s animated by strong feelings (without that, I would’ve given up by now), but I’ve at times made missteps with the plot. In the first draft, it was way too big and dramatic, and with each successive draft I’ve toned it down and made it smaller and more personal. It’s a different kind of story for me.
I’m not yet at the point where I’ve actually opened the Scrivener document and begun moving words around, but I’m getting very close. I’ve spent two weeks with the comments and a pathway for revision has opened up in my head. Revision is always frightening, but there’s something magical about it. When I get comments, I always feel overwhelmed by them. But slowly my subconscious works on reconceptualizing the book and eventually it’ll give me something that is new and yet the same. Something that’s cleaner and more honest, but still captures the core of what I want to say. And then of course I get more comments, and I have to do it again. Each revision brings me to within striking distance of the next one. Or, rather, each revision clears away some of the surface problems and allows me to see the problems underneath.
Enough blather about revision.
I’m on the East Coast. Tonight I’m taking an Amtrak from New York to DC. Tomorrow I’m reading in Baltimore at the Johns Hopkins campus bookstore (the Barnes and Noble at 3330 Saint Paul Street) at 7 PM. Come see me! Unless you don’t live in Baltimore, in which case, don’t, because I also have a bunch of other DC area events in the next two weeks =]