I feel rested after my time away, but it's so great to be back on the blog chain again.. This time around, Sarah asked:
How do you handle revisions? Do you revise as you're writing, or do you wait until you've gone through beta readers and crit partners to revise? How soon after you finish do you begin your revisions?
I don't know why, but this question kind of reminds me of one of the choices you have to make when buying a Powerball ticket.
Would you like your winnings in one lump sum or parceled out over a period of 30 years? I don't buy lottery tickets very often, but when I do, I choose the lump sum. (It's an instant gratification thing. Well, it would be if I ever won.)
I choose to handle my revisions in the same way -- one lump sum. But it has nothing to do with instant gratification. For me, it's about seeing the bigger picture as quickly and clearly as possible.
It also has a lot to do with the way my first drafts are born. I don't write consecutive chapters. I write whatever scene is most vivid in my head at the time, and then piece them together like a puzzle as I go.
It's not really as complicated as it might seem because I do frame the story before I begin writing. (So it's more like a kids puzzle than one of those 150,000,000-piece pains in the butt that my husband and kids leave scattered across the living room floor every once in awhile.)
As I'm writing, I'll let myself mull over other scenes that I've written. Most of the time, the scenes or characters need to be tweaked so they fit with the story. Once the tweakage (teehee I just made a word) has been completed, I'll put the hard copy aside for a few weeks while I think of ways to tighten the scenes, ramp up the tension and give the characters depth.
I usually don't let beta readers see my writing until I'm confident about the pacing and characterization. After it has been shredded by betas, I'll go back to the drawing board for another round of revisions.
How do you handle revisions?
Check out what the mah-velous Michelle Hickman said before me. The ever-cool Eric is up next.