revision queen: 270/365


I wanted to tell you about my novel that went out the first week in June to a very small number of editors. Good, positive, specific things were said but no takers. Honestly this time I’ve been unsure what to do next. I’ve thought about starting a new novel, and I’ve thought about revision. I talked to readers, and I reread the rejections. The concensus: too good to put in a drawer but not working as is.

So. I’m blowing it up. Going to start with an event that began on page 171 of the old version. And giving my main character a make-over (and I don’t mean hair and clothes). As I wrote in my revision notebook, I can change anything I want to. Also, I’m scraping a secondary storyline that was perhaps interfering with the main one.

Speaking of that notebook, on its first page, which I originally left blank as I do in all my notebooks, yesterday I wrote the question that is driving the novel, and I also made a note to myself to read that question every day before I start working.

I am a revision queen, but I have never done a revision as radical as this one. And… I have to say… I like what starting the story later is doing to my writing as well as to the trajectory of the novel–there’s not so much dot-connecting. And I like the character make-over–she is becoming more complex. I like her new sense of agency.

And, I never liked the title of the old version, and I have a title I LOVE–that works to drive the story forward. And I’m 98% sure my agent is going to like it too.

At only ten days in, the hard work is just beginning, but the novel has a new energy and so do I.


 365 true things about me
why this daily practice

15 thoughts on “revision queen: 270/365

  1. Thank you for sharing all this. It rings so many bells for me. My memoir got 36 mostly great rejections – if there can be such a thing. At least 20 – more maybe full reads. Until I stopped liking it myself and it’s sat in that psychic drawer for the last 6 months. But now, I feel like I have some insight into what will make it stronger, and YES – that question thing – just brilliant. And some recent interesting life changes gives me new insight. Thanks for yours!


  2. Tricia, I was reluctant to share, but that’s what this year is all about–pushing myself to be me out loud. So it was wonderful re-enforcement to read your comment. Thank you for that, and all good wishes for your memoir!


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