Posted in 1000 words a day, Creative WRiting

The Revision Process (Day 2, 3,300/100,000)

Base Graphic

So. Wow. Yesterday, I decided to delve into something that I should have been doing for a while. It’s something that I’ve put off, something that I’ve made every excuse in the world not to do.

Yesterday, I decided to delve into revisions of my 2013 NaNoWriMo novel. It’s a fantasy called Cerulean Darkness, and it’s one of my better developed stories/characters/premise/etc. The thing is, I’ve never actually edited anything that I’ve written before. I’ve gone over things for school, but even then… it was mainly for grammar checks.

I don’t even do that anymore.

I don’t let it off by how I act very often, but I’m actually pretty nervous about my writing, anxious, insecure. I think a lot of writers are. I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t even re-read my fanfics when I post them online. Instead, I simply put them up and hope that my friend who reads most everything that I write fanfic wise caught any grammar errors that I might have made (even though she usually doesn’t catch them until it’s posted up). I don’t edit.

It’s not because I’m lazy, or because I don’t think that I need to. It’s because I literally get so anxious and unhappy that I can hardly stand myself when I read my own writing. I started to re-read my novel two days ago… and I hated it. I hated every sentence, every word. I knew that I was being hard on myself, and that I was honestly being ridiculous. It’s a first draft, so it’s not good… but I know it’s not bad.

But, that nervousness, anxiousness, and down-trodden-on-myself attitude that I have about my writing actually forced my hand into something that I should have been doing all along. I’m editing it – I’m actually doing more than a simple edit. I’m re-writing it completely – I’ll be deciding if I want to completely change the perspective after I finish the rewrites of the first chapter. But I’m really getting into it and restructuring it. I’m fixing all of those little issues that I hate. I’m writing a second draft.

I have never written a second draft. Not in school, when my main goal was to get a Distinguished on my portfolio (and I did). Not when I entered contests for writing that I really wanted to win (and I did). Not when I was in college, and I wanted to 100% my creative writing classes (and I did). I’ve never written a second draft. I’ve never revised. I’ve always skated by.

I can’t do that with my novel. I can’t, and I won’t. If I want to really try this writing thing, if I want to grow, I have to take that next step. I have to set my babies adrift in the sea of Draft… and deal with the fact that I will be tearing them apart and putting them back together again as something new.

Something better.

That’s what I want, and what I strive for as a writer… to make something better than the last time I wrote. I’m okay with this – it’s scary, and it’s hard, and it’s stressful… but after one day and 3,000/100,000 words rewritten… I’m actually okay with it. I’m more than okay with it, I’m proud of myself. My second draft may end up not being that much better than the first… but it is going to be a little better. And a little is more than it was, just sitting on my shelf, untouched after NaNo.

A little is better than nothing, and a little is a step towards sending it out to beta readers and doing something with it.

I’ll probably post my progress on this every so many days, just to keep myself accountable. I’ll be learning as I go, and I would love to share the experience with you. Also, any tips, tricks, or drafting stories that you guys have? I’d love to hear them! Write a blog and tag me so I can repost, or tell me your story in the comments. More than anything, encourage yourself, guys! If you have a draft that you’ve been wanting to edit for a while… pick it up! We’ll take the journey together!

Until then, I can’t wait! (My next Alphabet Writing Tip blog should be out tomorrow or Sunday!)

Author Amanda McCormick

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