“By the time I am nearing the end of a story, the first part will have been reread and altered and corrected at least one hundred and fifty times. I am suspicious of both facility and speed. Good writing is essentially rewriting. I am positive of this.”—Roald Dahl
I’m glad to hear Dahl, whose works feel so perfect, talk about how essential revision is. It can be frustrating when your critique group or editor says “This is great, but I’m confused about this and I need to see more of this and what about this?” It can feel like revision is a neverending process. You just want to be done already! But that’s what most of writing is. You start with the rough information, and slowly your characters and plots and themes start to come together.
I started work on Queen of the Air back in 2008 or so, and finished the first draft in 2009. The revision process has ebbed and flowed since then, but I was never “done.” And I’m still revising and editing. From talking to author friends, it seems like revising and editing happens almost until the final copy of a book is available in libraries and bookstores. But that doesn’t mean it’s all banging your head against the wall–it’s crafting and refining and making your story as awesome and compelling as it can be.
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