Progress Party (complete with cake)
Ahh, the rains of spring have arrived here in our German village, and with them, the first flowers and new leaves.
Inside my cozy home, the weather is just the same. My manuscript and I are raising a veritable hurricane, and already I can see the gleam of polished prose.
Revisions are my favorite part of the creative process — taking what I wrote and making it better. It’s like baking a cake and smelling the seductive scent of chocolate as it wafts through your house. You salivate at the beautiful cake-to-come, but you wouldn’t eat it straight from the oven, would you? You’ve got to let that thing cool! And then, once you’ve had a chance to examine the cake and envision the pastry-perfection it will become, you can apply the first layers of creamy icing. Perhaps you even add a few flowers and swirls… But it’s not a complete cake without the icing.
Of course, sometimes, I wish the icing-process could move just a wee bit faster. Revisions take me longer than the initial writing. On the first draft, I just have to slap all the words together as fast as I can and power through to the end. Then, I can take those barebones and add/subtract/rearrange until it’s the book I wanted the first time through.
At this moment, I have 35 pages revised in my 200-page young adult novel, Miss Eleanor Fitt and the Spirit-Hunters. But already the flowers are peering through the prose — those 35 pages being a vast improvement over the original 35. And seeing those pages heartens me enough to push through the next 35 and the next 35.
How is your work going? Are you planning? Writing? Revising? And are you imagining a chocolate cake with buttercream icing like me right now? I think I’ll have to take a baking-break now, so if you’ll excuse me…
March 26, 2010 @ 5:23 pm
Dang. Susan, I’m hungry now for chocolate cake and it’s all your fault!
But you’re right. There is something so fun about working on revisions. To me, that’s when the true possibilities of a story become apparent. Until then, you’ve got all the ingredients but they still need to be put together and polished before they can go on display.
And FYI, I think this post should come with a recipe for cake! 😉
PS. Keep going! Keep writing! Keep revising!