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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | The Horrors of Re-Writing Your Draft

The Horrors of Re-Writing Your Draft

No, that’s not MY sentiment on the matter. Although embarking on a round of revisions often causes me a little anxiety, I actually love re-envisioning my story in a fresh (and usually improved) way. I’d rather re-write and revise than feel my way blindly through a first draft any old day!! (Outlining doesn’t help, btw. My characters won’t follow no stinking outline … See Larry’s post on characters who revolt.)

Not everybody feels that way, though. My 14 year old daughter, for example, has been agonizing over the revisions she’s making to a book she’s been writing for almost a year. I should probably mention that the current revisions were sparked by my commentary on her last draft, and I love what she’s done with the new one so far! From my viewpoint, it all seems to be going smoothly, but apparently there’s some turmoil inside Gabbey’s head.

She gave the world a glimpse of it on Facebook yesterday, and I’m reprinting it here (with her permission):

Gabbey (to self):
Well, as long as I’m tearing apart the first half of my book, why not twist it up even more, and hey, it might be fun to rearrange all the events…OOH! I HAVE AN IDEA! I’ll just add this random scene right here and then this part…nah, I’ll leave this part alone.

I think I’ll make this chapter ten pages longer and this one four pages shorter. No wait, scratch that, that’s a dumb idea. I’ll just put these six pages in this chapter and then move this explanation to the very beginning.

Hm, I think this character should get shot with a poison arrow…but that means this other character CAN’T be shot with one. Okay fine, I’ll just add a short little battle in here…DIE MAIN CHARACTER, DIE! Just kidding, but I think I kind of wrote him into a corner here…okay, deleting that whole last page. NO WAIT! UNDO! I JUST THOUGHT OF A WAY TO FIX IT! Ugh…okay…breathe…

Gabbey, welcome to the wonderful world of writing, and yes, don’t forget to breathe. I’m still hoping that Gabs will get brave enough to share her first page with us for First Impressions. She talked her crit partner, Dylan, into doing it, but hasn’t yet submitted her own page … hint, hint.

11 Responses to The Horrors of Re-Writing Your Draft

  1. Anna says:

    So…I’M not mentioned as her top crit buddy? *sniffs to herself* Well…well.

  2. Anna says:

    Still…lovely post 😀

  3. Oh, yes — let me introduce Anna, who is also more than welcome to submit a first page for a crit! Gabbey has an AWESOME group of critique partners!

  4. Linda G. says:

    LOL! Yup, you’re definitely raising a writer.

  5. awe, she’s shaping up to be one talented writer already! YOu must be so proud! Tell her CQG says its okay to hate revisions. I even have a ‘revision haters’ club if she wants to join us.

  6. Sarah says:

    Do it, Gabbey! Do it! That inner monologue up there is hilarious and brilliant.

  7. I prefer the editing to the first draft. Takes me forever to get my first vision down on paper.

  8. mshatch says:

    I’m not a big fan of revisions. Once I’m done, I want to be done. Unfortunately, it’s never quite that easy…

  9. I love it! And I love that she wrote a book when she was only 13. That takes discipline!

  10. Oh, I know the feeling. 😀

  11. That saying about the apple not falling far from the tree is right; your daughter obviously has oodles of writing skills. Good for her. (and you) I enjoy most kinds of writing, but my problem with the editing process is I have a hard time knowing when it’s time to stop.