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The Revision Mire

October 2, 2014 by Kiersi

Well, I’m deep in a second revision of a Very Exciting Middle-Grade Project (this is how I cleverly work around actually telling you the name of this project, aren’t I clever?) and let’s just say, editing a book is much less magical when it’s the second time you’ve edited said book in a matter of weeks.

I was so charmed by this book when I began work on my second draft with a pile of excellent notes in hand from my talented critique partner, Amber KeyserWow! I thought. This sure needs a lot of work, but the bones are all here. Amazing. I can’t believe she actually liked it! Maybe it’s worth its salt? It will be when I finish all this hard work! I’m really inspired to get it all done!

How sweet and naïve of you, Kiersi-from-a-month-ago. What a world you lived in. How I wish I could be your roommate in it.

I mean, I did do a pretty good first revision (::blows on knuckles, rubs knuckles on collar::) if I do say so myself. It did accomplish what it needed to accomplish. But now there’s this next step, this third draft thing before the book can move on to its next life stage, and suddenly ugh I actually have to do work now? It’s not all fun and games and ponies and rainbows and cute little polkadot bowties forever?!

How dare you, book. HOW DARE YOU.

But! There’s a carrot at the end of the stick. If I get this done and send it in, I get to try my hand at a shiny new project. A potentially very exciting and lucrative and hilarious and edgy new project. Wow, what kind of series of adjectives was that? Do I get a prize?

Have you ever worked on revisions in close succession? What do you do to get the magic back? Let me know in the comments!


  1. KateBrauning says:

    Oh man. I was revising two MSs back-to-back earlier this year. Reading is how I kept inspired/avoided dying. Tons and tons of reading.

  2. I love second and third drafts (and can even remain somewhat excited after a fourth), but fifth and beyond? I never seem to get the magic back! After a while I have to stand on my head to read the novel because I can’t make any sense of it right side up. My eyes start to bleed and I can’t see the right-in-your-face errors on the page so I have to put the thing down for a while and go back to it when my regular vision has returned. It never seems to get easy! But I’m always optimistic at the start of each new project, lol.

    • Kiersi says:

      For me, it’s mostly the density of time in which I’m making the revisions, but I feel you! I hope you see someone about that eye-bleeding… 😉

  3. helenrena123 says:

    I find all revisions hard. 🙂 But maybe second ones are the hardest for me because the story is nothing but bare bones at that stage or maybe because I’m in the second revision right now. 🙂 Good luck with your project.

    • Kiersi says:

      Dang! I had hoped for a magic secret recipe cure! Good luck with your second revision. I wish I could under-write my first drafts, rather than over-write them.. Thank you!

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