This morning’s fun was a dentist appointment, so now my teeth are all white and shiny but I feel behind on my day.
I feel like I didn’t make a lot of forward progress in my revisions yesterday, but what I did do was rearrange a bunch of events so that they now flow better and there’s a reason for conflict and tension in each scene. Of course, this makes me wonder why I didn’t do it that way in the first place. This is a definite proof point for the advice to let a manuscript rest before revising it. After a few months, you notice things you wouldn’t have noticed when the story was still fresh in your head.
Really, time seems to be the biggest asset to writing. I find that the more time between initial idea and actually starting to write, the better the book ends up being and the easier it is to write. The more time between first draft and revision, the better and more comprehensive the revision is. Unfortunately, today’s market penalizes taking your time and rewards fast publication. The only place where I find that taking less time helps is in the first draft. The faster I write that first draft, the better the book ends up being, though that might be a chicken-and-the-egg thing because I tend to be able to write a faster draft because I’ve spent more time between initial idea and starting to write. So, is it a better book because I wrote it fast, or was I able to write it fast because it was a better book?
I’m thinking that my ideal process would probably involved braided projects — do the research and development on one book while revising another book, then draft a book while letting a book rest. Or something like that. I know I can’t really work on anything else while doing a first draft, but preliminary research can fit in with other things, and it actually helps to write something while letting a draft rest before revision. I just need to get a pipeline going to keep the projects flowing like that.
But for now, it’s revision on this book.