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Lucky Number Seven? also Revision Hell. - Corinne O'Flynn

Back in the early days of writing my manuscript THE EXPATRIATES, while revising the first and then the second draft, I’d often find myself enamored of the process. I’d smile and talk about it with my non-writerly friends feeling so excited and wistful.

There I’d be, writing away, birds chirping at the window, wind chimes tinkling in the gentle breeze, sipping my tea and nibbling on some toast points. I was happy tackling scenes as a whole, then paragraphs, then lines, and then words to make things just right.

Of course, it still wasn’t where it needed to be, or where I wanted it to be, I knew that. And I also knew that it was important to continue through to the end. The wonderful process of revising had me in its King Kong grip and I remained its faithful servant, albeit with brown hair, Bermuda shorts, and teva sandals .

The thing about The Process is that while I muddle through and remove and add words on my pages, sometimes I’d read back over the day’s work and discover a gem that I’d somehow unearthed without realizing it at the time. That, I think, is the beauty of it. Hidden character traits, quirks and flaws emerge on their own. Twists in the story develop as the story gains depth and substance.

But right now, I am feeling so differently about it all. I am in the throes of draft number seven and I am starting to really despise the damned process. The honeymoon is over. I want to kill off all of my characters just to write their screams.

I’ve had enough. I got nothin’

And yet, I know that draft seven is so needed. It might even end up being The Final Draft.

Let’s face it, the book is already written and I know how it ends. I am happy with the main arc of the story and all of the bigger picture things. Yes, the opening needs to be altered and some stuff needs to be remade to happen earlier in the book and how hard can that really be? Let me tell you, it is hard.

I look over there at the stack of notes and research and the first few chapters of my shiny new witchy novel and bemoan my state of revision. I really want to work on that one right now, it calls to me. But I am committed to completing the seventh draft so I can put THE EXPATRIATES to bed and start querying again.

Wish me luck.

Speaking of well wishes, thank you to everyone who emailed and posted about the Butterfly Release event I posted about here. The event went beautifully, and was so uplifting for everyone who came. The following day I was completely blown away when I walked in to my house after a lunch date to a surprise birthday party my husband had thrown for me!  So cool. Yeah, so I hit a milestone at the end of June, but haven’t you heard that 40 is the new black?  It is…

I just realized it is Thursday… and that means haiku!  I must go find a photo to inspire.


About the Author Corinne

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  1. “I want to kill off all of my characters just to write their screams.” …YES. THIS! But it’ll be worth it in the end (even if for no other reason than feeling like it is done).

    So glad the butterfly release went well.

    And Happy Big New-Black. I’ll be joining you this year.

  2. Good luck! I promise you’ll get there. It’s hard. I think I had 8 or 9 drafts for my last manuscript. But once it’s done…BEST FEELING EVER.

    Good luck! DOn’t give up!

    <3 Gina Blechman

  3. I have no idea how this happened, but I clicked on the link from my blog and it sent me to you. Yay, me. Happy Birthday.

    As for revising, give it 25 or 30 looks and then call it good. Or whatever number works for you. It’s certainly a process. I finished my revisions yesterday and feel oh, so happy. I just need to ignore the thing for a while.

  4. Hooray for random clicks! I am giving this baby once more and then its gotta be done, for now right? Congrats on completing your revisions RaShelle, I can only imagine.

    Jenna – Hey you! I owe you an email. Welcome to 40, soon.

    Thanks Gina – I am trying so hard to stick with the plan. Gotta be in it to win it.

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