I’m sure all of you frequently have the feeling where you end a work day feeling worn out and simultaneously wishing you’d been more productive. I don’t know where this comes from. A weary mind ought to be indication, in and of itself, that one has done enough work for the day.
Am in the beginning stages of the fifth major revision on what will hopefully be my second YA novel: Tell Em They’re Amazing. As always happens with revision, this is proving to be a bigger job than I’d imagined. It’s still not huge. It’s not a rewrite. But it is careful work. In some ways it’s very enjoyable. I like how at this stage it’s possible to add so much nuance. Because you’ve already set out the broad outlines of the character, now you’re able to work both for and against type in order to create a more multifaceted portrayal. Right now I’m doing some pretty interesting stuff with my protagonist. And, as always, I’m worrying that I’m going to break him and make him uninteresting. But I don’t think so. Invariably when I make revisions like this, people go back and look at the character and are like, “I could not imagine them being any other way.”
The central throughline of the book is also getting locked into place. I’ve always had a weak elevator pitch for the book, not because the story is weak or boring, but because the weakest part of it is the relationship that I use to pitch people the book. By strengthening that relationship, the whole thing comes more into focus.
Only been at this three days, and I’m about a fourth of the way through the book. That feels like a lot of progress, but I still feel as if I should be doing more.