Monday, May 16, 2011

How the Godfather Helped Me With Revisions

So, it's been a crazy couple of months. I've been molding and shaping this book to my satisfaction, then going back, and doing it all over again.

I'm still not finished. I'm really beginning to wonder if I'll ever be.

So far, I'm likening revisions to two things:

1. Pulling teeth with no Novocaine
This is painful, the realization of what the heck have I gotten myself into, why did I agree to this, how can I get out of it? There is no way I can get through this alive.

2. The Godfather - Part 2 (yes, I'm totally stealing this from the movie Serendipity)
Part 1 (the first draft) gave me something to work with, Part 2 gave me something to appreciate. Not only do I now understand how it all began, but I'm starting to see where it's going. I couldn't have gotten here without Part 1 though. The first draft that started it all...

I guess it's true though... you usually can't get to the good parts without going through some pain, right?

But for the most part, I'm actually really liking revisions. It's hard work, but it's like breathing life into my monster. And it's a beautiful thing.

I'm not going to lie. There have been times in these past few weeks when I've literally just stopped myself from pulling my hair out. I've wondered exactly where I came up with that line... what the heck was I thinking when I added in that phrase... I've lamented over how I was going to fix this train-wreck of a manuscript...

I've wanted to shelve it and start anew. It would be much easier.

But easier doesn't mean better... it's just means easier. It's just putting off the inevitable.

So the moral of today's story?

See it through. Regardless of how bad you think it might be, how far you want to throw it into the next century, don't.

I mean, once you start something, you've got to finish it right? How else are we going to get to the finale? And it might just be one you don't want to miss.

How about you guys? Which side of the fence are you on when it comes to revisions? Do you love them or hate them? Have you seen The Godfather trilogy?

p.s. And for the record... I actually have seen all three Godfather movies ;)


Stephanie Thornton said...

I love revising, but sometimes it really is a monster. In a span of five minutes I think I could rival Jane Austen and then I want to throw the whole darn thing out the window.

Joanne said...

I'm in the thick of a manuscript revision right now too. The range of emotions that go along with the process is amazing, but hopefully that emotion works its way into the words, too.

Colene Murphy said...

Revising is painful, for sure! But you sound like you have a good handle on everything you want to tweak and change so that's got to make it better! Good luck finishing up!!

notesfromnadir said...

You even watched Godfather 3? :)

I'm impressed w/ how you stuck it out. Seeing a project through is very difficult at times. Usually I'll go for a very long walk. Oftentimes I'll not want to return to the computer, but I do!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I like them! I always think of new things as I revise. (And if I haven't thought of them, my critique partners make the suggestion.)

Tamara Narayan said...

I live to edit. The first draft is the killer for me. All that blank space. All the possibilities. Exciting, but intimidating.

I've seen the first two Godfather movies.

The Red Angel said...

Revising is tough for me because I am such a perfectionist and feel like I can never get anything just right. And I'm afraid that if I keep editing and revising, eventually I will pass the moment where everything is perfect because I eventually get paranoid and ruin it with edits--yet again.


Alleged Author said...

Yay for another "Godfather" fan! I can so see how revisions could be compared to part 2.

Holly Ruggiero said...

I do like it. It makes it all sparkley!

Anna Zagar said...

Ugh! My editor emailed yesterday to let me know I'll be getting my MS back for line edits this week. It's kind of cool to have someone else comb thru it for a change. But it's also nerve-splintering. Editing=labor w/o an epidural before you get to hold your perfect baby.

Shari said...

The revision monster has reared it's ugly head and I'm in the middle of being chased by it. I know in the end it will be better, but it's not a whole lot of fun at the moment.

Lydia K said...

Oh, I have a love/hate relationship with revisions!

Theresa Milstein said...

I had a tooth pulled without novocaine once. Big mistake.

I'm not a big fan of revisions either. Good luck!

I've only seen the first two Godfather films. I didn't like the second one as much as the first.

L'Aussie said...

Hey WritingNut, no pain no gain, huh? At least you're attacking it, not avoiding it like I am!


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