A Revisionist History of the World

I finished another round of revisions on the MG book y’all! *dances* It’s now in the hands of two beta readers- one who read the old version, and one who will only have read the new. I think it’s a good balance.

I’ve been reflecting on the process these last two weeks, and it’s really a fascinating thing to hold all the truths of a universe in the palm of your hand. With a flourish of keystrokes I transformed my MC from someone who liked her dragon okay to someone who kind of hates him in a way. With another twist of my wrist and flurry of typing, a character who appeared in just a few scenes is suddenly in most of them. Another character now carries his trumpet with him almost everywhere, and another has a sister and a big square bed and glow in the dark constellation stickers she never had before.

These things did not exist in the story before, or were completely different than they are now. But unlike in the real world, things don’t have to stay as they are. Until that book one day enters the world, things can change- people, circumstances, even magic itself. Maybe that’s why revision is strangely terrifying for me. In drafting, I always pants, and anything is possible- but in revision, things exist and changing one small thing sets off a storm whose consequences I can’t necessarily predict, changes to an established way that might have ramifications I’m unprepared for.

Maybe that’s one of the greatest adventures and promises in writing. The possibility that things change.

Maybe that’s our greatest adventure in life, too.

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2 thoughts on “A Revisionist History of the World

  1. I hear ya! *raises hands in the air* I am tinkering with a ms now and am dealing with repercussions of having added stuff to the first chapters … you know, stuff that wasn’t there before. Ripples spread … affecting everything. Adventure. Promise. Magic! Frustrating, but so awesome! And YEA for getting through revision. I am jealous.

  2. Revising is challenging. I’ve had to make some hard choices, some I regret & some have only made the story strong. I think that’s why it’s so important to have someone you trust, who cares about your story as much as you do, who is willing to read your ramblings over and over again, who can reign you in and encourage you. It’s so true, we do not write alone. And we need others the most when we are revising. Break a leg, my friend!

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