I’ve finally dove back into revisions of Magestone, after an unintentionally long hiatus. I’ve got a shortlist of large-scale tweaks I want to make (fine-tuning character personalities and stuff like that) and the critiques of a couple of my critique partners, the two who saw it since its last set of revisions. I’m going through from the beginning, chapter by chapter, and addressing everything I encounter along the way. I find this easier than tackling the revisions item by item (ie, change character A from sympathetic to ambivalent, then go through and remove all references to object B which has been taken out, then go back again to change the season from C to D, etc). I know some authors do approach their revisions this way because they can tick stuff off a list and it’s easier to make sure they’ve addressed everything. I just find the scale of it too daunting, though. Like the project is too big for me to keep the whole thing in view at one time, and so trying to picture making changes throughout the entire manuscript, even if it’s only on one item, is a little mind-boggling. I can focus in on a single chapter much more easily, and as long as I have a list beside me of the broader items that need to be addressed, I can slowly work my way through, beginning to end, and make sure everything gets fixed.
The one good thing about having left the manuscript to sit for so long is that it’s a lot easier to see areas that need a bit of reworking, and not feel as strongly about doing so. I’ve done this a few times since I finished the first draft back in January, and each time helps.
It was just over a year ago that I wrote the first paragraphs of what would develop into Magestone while driving to my sister’s place one afternoon: October 17. I wrote the first draft in three months. And I’ve now spent nine working on revisions, living in Rya’s world, daydreaming about her future (both in the book and as the book). I wrote Novels #1 and #2 in three months each, too… but I didn’t love them nearly enough to consider spending nine months on them. Happy birthday, Rya – I hope we get to share many more together.