All writers poop.
And I don't mean by poop we all go to the toilet. We know nature only has so many ways of excreting our bodily waste. What I'm talking about is word poop. You know when you write something, and it sounds like the best thing in the world, but it isn't...yet.
Well, we ALL suffer from it.
Case in point. Kurt Vonnegut used to rewrite his pages hundreds of times until he got the words down exactly how we wanted them. See, he worried about his own word poop as well.
But there's one thing that can change that flabby, needs to get down the gym and do some lunges manuscript into a lean, mean, agent request grabbing machine. Revision.
Vonnegut knew it had to be done. And so do we.
I have to get this out there before I go any further, "My name is Lindsay, and I love doing revisions." Don't groan at the back, I can't help it. :)
So in between my NaNo writing (and I'm still self-editing while I write. It's an illness that I have no cure for!) I was reading the awesome posts on revision by Maggie Stiefvater (you know the author of Lament, Ballard, Shiver, Linger...) who talks about why she doesn't hate revisions either.
"Because I don’t fart glitter and unicorns. My words don’t come out of the faucet perfect."
And, like it or not, it's true.
We all know the various nuts and bolts of revision, and we all have our different methods. Some writers leave their drafts a month and work on something else. Some attack revision straight away. Some will do revisions in certain areas like pacing, plot and character before they do a final polish. Some people can do six drafts, others three. We each have our own ways of working and that's great. It would be boring if we were all the same.
But we all revise. We wouldn't be responsible parents if we didn't help our book babies look their best before setting them free. And no one wants their manuscript to be the one sat on an agents desk with something in its teeth!
So even if you are writing that first draft, revising or are NaNoWriMo-ing and have turned off your internal editor (sorry, I can't do it. I tried, but it makes my head hurt. hee hee) embrace the universal truth. Revision is the thing that turns the word poop into something a little less stinky.
Want proof? There are a few hundred examples waiting to suck you into their world waiting at a bookstore/shelf near you. And I doubt they were a first draft.
Maybe one day ours will join them.
So how about you? Any revision lovers or haters out there. Any tips to share?