Posted on December 13, 2010
What is it with revisions that they tend to make a writer’s life harder and at the same time light as snow?
I am working on the revision of DARK FIBER or TURING’S DECEIT –still haven’t decided on the title– and it goes well. I do the revision in my own well-tried and proven way. I open the manuscript and place it on the left side of my screen. I open an immaculate document right next to it, which I title REVISION.
Next I simply start writing from the very beginning. I retype the entire manuscript and along the way I rewrite and rethink, I change and tweak and kill some of my dearest darlings –some of the life one’s as well I must admit *blushing with shame*. The guiding notes from my agent are right next to my keyboard and so is my Moleskine, which contains every snippet of detail on my characters, every twist and turn in plot line, as well as the different time lines. It works well that way. Better than when I start fiddling around with the original manuscript. If I would do that I would get lost in no time and if I get lost, I can assure you that my characters too get lost. But this way I ensure consistency, balance and logic.
There is a downside to this method as well. It takes me far longer to finish a revision. The main reason for that is that I not only change what my agent wants me to change, but I scrutinize every chapter, paragraph, line and word as I pass them. Every bit of prose gets weighed again, and since I –totally involuntary– always give in to my perfectionist’s tendencies, you can imagine that this method takes a little time…
Anyway, the end of this revision is nearing. I plan to finish it before the end of next week. I can only hope that it will be enough. It was already a good book, my agent tells me, it just needed that little bit extra so that you all will love it too! And hey, that’s worth the struggle, eh? 🙂
Tagged: Amsterdam, Dark Fiber, Herengracht, Mina Witteman, Revision, thriller, Turing's Deceit
Good for you, Mina! Must feel great approaching the finish line.
Thanks for sharing your process. Interesting.
Thanks, Dana. Yes, it feels great.
I think the method is fine.. time-consuming but by doing it this way you will make the text more compact while keeping the prose fresh and saving the textual structure. No cutting, copy pasting etc.
Ah, and I would say Dark Fiber is most thrilling. But then again Turing’s Deceit sounds more dramatic, making it a tempting title too.