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The End is just the beginning

Most non-writers believe that once you type “The End”, you're done. Hah! Far from it. I can't begin to tell you how many times I've revised Counting on You (a.k.a. COY) since I “finished” it.

The first couple of revisions were based on things I'd learned (through workshops, books on writing, and experience) since starting the book. When I let a few trusted people read it, I got feedback about plot issues and unanswered questions. Back to the keyboard.

Later, I found a critique partner, entered a couple of contests…more (very helpful) feedback. Back to the…well you get the idea.

As much as I love my story, and mostly agree with the feedback I've received, the writer in me has moved on. I'm about halfway through Floater. That's where my brain is focused, and where I want to spend my time.

On the other hand, I'm hoping to get a request for the complete manuscript of COY from an agent or editor one of these days. If I do, I won't have time to go back and fix it then.

Should I be lucky enough to get a publication contract for COY (hey, one can dream), the editor will surely require more revisions. Truly, to be a writer, is to be a re-writer.

If I want to be a published author, I have to figure out how to deal with this now. The more experience and feedback I get, the better I am at avoiding the amateur mistakes from the beginning, but even the best writers–yes, even Nora Roberts and Ken Follett–have to revise their work before it's ready for publication.

I guess it's just a fact of writing life.

The End…for now.

The Daily Squirrel: composure

Standing behind the curtain, she cursed her shaky hands, the adrenaline flooding her veins, and the sweat trickling down her back. She should be used to this by now, but it never changed. Once on stage, she'd be fine, but the minutes leading up to her speech were pure torture. Finally, the emcee called her name. She took a deep breath, stood up straight, and smiled. Cool composure settled over her like a veil, and she walked onto the stage with her head held high. If only her parents could see her now.

Tell your friends!


  1. Mark


    Totally agree with you about the re-writing aspect. My first drafts are so terrible that I don’t even classify myself as a writer until the 3rd or 4th run through.

    It’s the most rewarding, yet physically and psychological demanding aspect of trying to write a novel – you end up with 2 or 3 novels by the end of it, each a shade closer (or sometimes further away) from what you first envisaged.

  2. Christine


    Once you reach the point where you really hate the main characters and you want to ditch them completely and you believe the book is the worst piece of trash ever written …. THEN you are in full revision mode for the gazillionth time. I know your pain. I always start wanting to work on my next book during the first revision. My CPs made me revise the third book and refused to read my next book till I did so. I’m glad they forced me to do it, but I kicked and screamed all the way through the process. Then I got into it. And it has done well. Now I’m wrestling with the “brilliant” idea I had two years ago, wrote a year ago, revised once, and am revising AGAIN. Can we say I am ready to start the next book? Yup.

    It’s not even editing (that’s polishing/copy edit stuff). It’s ripping into the POV, the guts and the grit of the story and reassembling it that makes it tough, but rewarding when it all comes together.


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