Today, it’s all about revisions here in Chez Harris. I’m working on rewriting (and I do mean rewriting) the latest Presents. There are various reasons for it, but let’s just say the first version missed the mark by a wide margin. It happens, y’all. If you’re still trying to get published, you may believe that once you get that foot in the door, it’s all magical and wonderful from there on out.
It is, in a way, but the work is still difficult and there are no guarantees.
In this book, for instance, I think I’ve come to the realization that I have to cut 30,000 words. Yes, you read that right. I have to cut that and rewrite it all. How did this happen to a seasoned author?
First and foremost, this book is a continuity, which means the story was handed to me by the editors. I’ve done two continuities before and had no trouble at all. But this time, I just couldn’t get a handle on who these people were. I kept forcing the story forward, thinking it would all work out in the end. It didn’t.
There were reasons for the difficulties, not all entirely my own fault, but it happened and now I’m stuck in the muck and suffering the consequences. It’s disheartening, sure. But all writing is rewriting. There is no such thing as a perfect story the first time through. Or at least not for 99.9% of us.
The worst part of this right now is I want to be working on other things. I have a new Presents in the works and I need to get to work on Book 2 of my Special Ops series.
But first I have to suck it up and finish this revision. Sometimes, in the immortal words of Kenny Rogers, you got to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em. Don’t get stuck on the idea that you must keep all those beautiful words. You can cut them, and you can replace them. It hurts, but the book will be better in the end.
It’s the only thing that keeps me from curling up in a ball and blubbering hysterically…..