aqua fortis

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Tribulations of Revision

So, I'm in the midst of revision for Underneath, my next YA novel. I'm gradually discharging various finite freelance projects so that I can focus as much as possible on rewriting with a minimum of distraction. So far it's going OK--the part about keeping freelance work under control, that is. I did a reasonable job of saying no to new things for the duration of this month, and asking for help on some stuff where it was possible to do so. I don't find it very easy to ask for help, in general, so I'm trying to see that as an accomplishment.

And, just this morning, I finished one freelance writing project which I can now cross off the list. That will earn me some extra hours for the next few weeks. Another freelance project, some Illustrator vector images, will be finished probably tomorrow, so that will be another thing to check off.

But I'm not making great progress on the revision. It's going slowly. Every time I look at it I think how incredibly amazing it is that they want to publish it in the first place. I'm at an awful point where I read it and all I can think is OH GOD IT'S TERRIBLE AND EVERYONE WILL HATE IT. I'm having horrible visions of reviews that say stuff like "After a promising debut, Stevenson has come out with a truly lackluster sophomore effort, trite and mediocre."

I have to keep reminding myself that this is just one of the stages inherent in revision, and that this project in particular is liable to prompt negative thinking because of the fact that it's been far more challenging to write this story at every step of the way. Not for any particularly exciting or emotionally charged reason (at least, not that I'm aware of consciously)--just plain old blockage. Halfway through the first draft--which I started, by the way, in something like 2006--I stopped and had no clue where the story was going. I put it away. Then I took it back out a few years ago with renewed energy, finished the first draft, and promptly went UGH again and put it away. Last year I did a massive rewrite, sent it to my publisher, and amazingly they liked it. But now I'm back at the point of looking at it and going UGH.

I'm actually more annoyed with myself than anything else because I'm having so much trouble giving myself the support I need to work on this one. It was easy with The Latte Rebellion because I was pretty much in love with that project every step of the way. This one's been much more of a love-hate relationship.


adrienne said...

Well, all this just makes me more curious to read the book, so I hope you push through all that, and I hope it gets a little easier.

aquafortis said...

Heh--that's good, I guess! :) Thank you for the kind words. It truly does help to know that I have moral support as I push forward.