The Mood Swings of Possible Revision

I like it just the way it is. Look—I'm not even wanting to line edit. That's a sign.

Oh, but what if [this] happened instead? The story would be totally different if I did that.

How much fun that would be! Like a whole new novel! I'm actually getting excited!

Hmmmm. But everything else would fall apart once I head in that direction. Where will the plot even go then?

I have no idea.

Ugh, I have no idea.

Oooh, but what if I used this revision as an opportunity to say something more honest, more real, more important? To write a book closer to me than it ever was before?

(Pause to think.) It would be a whole different book.

It would be a whole different book!!!!!!!!!

It would, wow, it would take a lot to write a whole different book, huh?

The end. Currently rereading and only at page 36.

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5 thoughts on “The Mood Swings of Possible Revision

  1. nova June 24, 2006 / 2:09 pm

    Me, responding to me:

    You could…

    1) Kill a character.

    2) A character could join the circus.

    3) Or join a weird religious cult.

    4) A character could be abducted by aliens.

    5) A character could lose a foot.

    6) A meteor shower could destroy the city.

    7) A giant bunny rabbit could eat the mother.

    8) The story could turn experimental and in the middle of the book there could be a blank section in which the reader can fill in what they want to happen and so everyone is satisfied and you can go to sleep happy.

    Good night.

  2. Helen June 24, 2006 / 6:41 pm

    I like 8! 4 was what happened in mine, which is probably why it isn’t published yet.

    I think you should follow your instincts. When I reread my ms after the agent told me to revise it for the 8th time, I thought: “What’s wrong with this?” (i.e. Nothing!) Then I thought: “I could change it, but the entire story would change.” I decided I didn’t want that.

    What the agent wanted was a happy ending where lambs and kittens appeared and the protagonists went skipping off into the sunset. I appreciated his insight but he has never been a teenage girl. That type of ending doesn’t happen to teenage girls. If I was still a teenager I would have thrown the book across the room if it ended like that.

    If I were you I’d keep your novel how it is and keep sending it out. I get the vibes you’re onto a good thing here. Agents don’t know what they’re talking about half the time.

  3. nova June 24, 2006 / 6:46 pm

    Helen, I think I would like to read your book! No lambs or kittens or skipping into sunsets for me—I love the devastating endings that make it hurt long after you’ve turned the last page. My memories of being a teenager sure are more like that!

  4. bloglily June 25, 2006 / 10:06 am

    Hi Nova, Even when you’re blogging, you’ve got a plot going! It’s so interesting to see you work your way through the question of whether to revise — or go on to something else. It makes me want to know more about your book. Hope you’re having a lovely summer Sunday. Best, BL

  5. slynne June 25, 2006 / 10:19 am

    Hey Nova. I’ve been following your story for a while now, and this post particularly shows that you want to write a new work and get the one you are thinking about revising published. All these thoughts are like a beacon to the point that you need to start on another book. The revision of the old one is even telling you that it is time…

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