Saturday, May 4, 2013

Re-Thinking Revision - Guest Post from Tina V. Cabrera

Re-Thinking Revision
Tina V. Cabrera

Some writers find revision the best part of writing. They say it’s that space just above comfort because you now have something concrete to work with, that you get to flex different muscles than when staring at a blank page. That may be so, but it can also fill up that space just below the highest level of anxiety because of the fact that you have no idea of what to do with it. Then too I’ve gone back to revise a story, only to see the final result as lacking the original power or imagination that I had first begun with – the life sucked out of it. Or I find myself completely confused as to which draft is the better out of the two or three or more. And now, here I am looking forward to stolen moments of revising time, and here’s why. After several attempts at catching a publisher’s eye with various draft of my latest novella, some kind of science fiction/literary fantasy hybrid, I’m working on what I hope to be the final version. This after hearing from a couple of editors specifically pointing out what works well and what not-so-much. The consensus seems to be that the complex cerebral world that I’ve created manages to hold reader interest, but takes too long in getting there. The voice is distancing, removing the reader from the immediacy of the world. At first, I resisted the idea of going back yet again to what I thought was a done deal. Then after months of having let it be, I read my latest draft over and saw what the editors had concluded. Now I’m happy to say I’m halfway through revision and actually enjoying the process. I’m discovering it’s not ‘finished’ after all, and beyond a cosmetic re-working, I’m even adding to scenes that I had thought for certain were forever concluded. So is revision the best part of writing? To each her own, but once you get going you may find it absolutely necessary.

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