Author Topic: the weirdness of revisions  (Read 2640 times)


  • Hipparch
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on: June 15, 2008, 07:51:03 PM
I just revised "113 Feet", which involved adding about 1200 words (five pages) to fill in a scene I'd left out the first time.  It was a strange feeling, getting back into the head of my main character after having written the story about two months ago.  I always thought it was good to leave a story behind for a little while, let it ferment in your head before going back and revising.  But I don't always write in the same style -- it depends upon the characters -- and in this case I had to figure out her motivations again and write accordingly.

And then, when I did finish the missing scene, I had to change a few lines in the ending to make them a little less "nice".  Though I really like the new line I included of Eleanora's last words to her father.

Anyway, let's discuss revisions.  Do you find it hard to get back into your characters' heads if you leave them behind too long?  The writing style?  Do others notice when you've made changes?  Is it a seamless patch, or can people still see the join?  I'm hoping that when I resubmit "113 Feet", the editor doesn't notice the marks and likes the story enough this time around to buy it.

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Reply #1 on: June 15, 2008, 08:26:44 PM
I added another chapter to "Magical Clothes" a month after I had set it aside, and at least one reader noticed that it seemed "tacked on"... but many others said nothing about it.



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Reply #2 on: June 16, 2008, 05:11:41 PM
Yes, I have a hard time getting back into revisions of a story sometimes, especially if I took time off the story to work on something else.  When I started rewriting my novel, it definitely took a while for me to hit my groove, because I'd taken several months off it to let my beta-readers read and respond, and then for me to get back into it.  (In retrospect, I think I took too long.)  Usually, though, I'm able to get back there by reading through the story once or twice, getting back into the head of the narrator and/or characters.

As far as adding stuff, yes, people who have read it before do seem to notice, but that's because I left something out that they wanted closure or an answer to, or some gaping plot hole.  (Usually, when I'm sending it out to betas who have read it before, I ask if this bit works for them now.  Also, I might send it to someone who already liked the story to find out if I'd screwed it up somehow, or send it to someone who hasn't read it before.)

I think in short, I'm for two things: 1) shorter time gaps between revisions and 2) figuring out how to trust myself more.

That second one is going to take more work, I think.