Postcard #6 – Revising

5 Crows Silver, 6 Crows Gold
5 Crows Silver, 6 Crows Gold

I had this idea I could whip through creating the second draft of my book.  I’ve got a month.  The first draft is pretty good.  No problem.  I can do this.


I am revising my idea of revising.  Like, I maybe should expect that this second draft will take me as long as writing the first draft.  The first three weeks of April have shown me this.

I admit it.  I am a virgin when it comes to second drafts.  I mean, I was a virgin.  Can’t claim, and blame, that any longer.

I am in the messy midst of second draft, and I am enjoying it.  A different process than first draft.  I am pickier.  Rather than ‘let’s get this down’, it is ‘let’s get this right.’  I am playing with words in a different way.  I am studying them, drop by drop, rather than pouring out a whole bucketful of water onto the page and moving quickly to the next page to pour another bucketful.

First draft was falling in love with a crowd.  Second draft is loving the individual beauty of a word, phrase, sentence, and hearing how they link and don’t link to those beside them.  Second draft is choosing the particular beauty I want my book to be, and matching all to this.

I still love the parts that don’t link up, that don’t match this single beauty.  I see their different beauty, and know they will fit somewhere else, some other time.  I put them aside.

I’ve had to adjust my word goal for Camp Nanowrimo.  Downwards.  Make it smaller.  Doable.  That is alright.  I am learning a new writing process, my revision process, and this is exciting.

So, a toast.  Raise your coffee mugs, tea cups, wineglasses, and all.  Here’s to a longer revision process.  Here’s to getting it right, and to particular beauty.  Here’s to second drafts and being a writer.


Mentioned in this post:

Camp Nanowrimo


The Inside Out Upside Down Draft

I Walked The Storm And Became Its Centre (Ethan)
I Walked The Storm And Became Its Centre (Ethan)

I woke at 6:30 this morning to soggy sloppy snow on the ground, in the trees, and filling the air.  My husband’s comment–‘out like a lion’, referring to March 31 today.  Upside down Spring.

Yes, I am writing this post a day ahead because tomorrow, April 1, Camp Nanowrimo begins.  I am signed up to spend April revising the first draft of my book.  I have a virtual cabin full of twelve of us writing similar work.  New friends and fellow writers for moral support, for whining and freaking out with, and for mutual cheering on.

It feels appropriate to begin my revision on April Fool’s Day.  I am nicknaming this second draft the Inside Out Upside Down Draft, because that is exactly what is going to happen with it.

This is the shake-up of the first draft.

I’ve never revised a book before.  Have edited loads of essays, posts, letters, policies, poems, term papers.  But never a whole book.

This feels a little intimidating.

I am approaching it with a bag full of Cadbury Cream Eggs and a can of bear spray.  I am walking into the deep woods without a map.  This is taking my courage and my first draft and being willing to read, feel, take apart, backtrack, turn sideways, throw out, write again and write again, feed that to the bear, and write yet once more.

The chocolate is for me.  The bear spray is for the draft if it gets out of control and tries to bite me or anyone else.  The bear I just mentioned—he loves to eat bad writing.  I plan on feeding him as much as he can take until I am left with only the good writing.  Bear is sitting out there in the melting slush right now.  Drooling.  He just came out of hibernation.  He’s HUNGRY.

And so am I.  Hungry to play with words galore tomorrow, and for the next twenty-nine days after that.

I’ll send postcards.

Wish me luck!


Mentioned in this post:

Camp Nanowrimo    campnanowrimo