So I’ve been belting that word out occasionally, like I’m singing ‘Traditions’ from Fiddler on the Roof.
Well, to annoy the children, yes, but also because I’m hip deep in revisionland right now. There’s the draft I just finished on the Paizo project, and an older project which I had a friend do a detailed critique on. Both of those get to be taken apart and put back together over the next few weeks.
Luckily, I like revision. It just feels less grueling then the draft. It’s like building a house– there’s all this work in prepping the site, putting in a foundation, framing it, roofing it, doing all the systems work, etc., etc. All that’s a horrible long slog, and when it’s done it still doesn’t look much like a house. That’s the first draft. When the painters and decorators and landscapers come in and make that structure into something that people actually want to live in, that’s revision. For me, that feels easier. That basic structure is already there, I’m just messing around with paint and trim until it works.
There is one part of the drafting process that I do like better. Word count. It’s a simple, clear way to make sure I’m on the clock and doing my job. When I’m revising, it’s not nearly so easy to tell. How necessary was it to spend twenty minutes moving that one comma back and forth? Did I catch all my typos? Am I sure? No, of course not. But that’s a little thing– I still think revising is easier.
Easier, but very, very necessary.