Revision, revision, revision: Capes

I’ve spent the last few days working on revisions on the last draft of my new play Capes. For this project in order to start revising, I gave myself some distance from the piece. I waited two months between finishing my last draft and starting to look at it again. That distance was extremely helpful in seeing things I couldn’t see before: where the dialogue was clunky, where character moments didn’t make sense, where the plotting didn’t work. I took notes for those moments in each scene. And then gave myself another week before diving in and starting the revisions.

I’m catching things that I could never have seen if not for the distance. I can’t say that I enjoy revising, but I do know how necessary it is. And seeing the things I’d missed in other passes (moments I’d let slide, dialogue that needed work,story moments that don’t work as well as they should), I am very glad  that I’m doing this. Its tedious work, and never quite as exciting (for me) as the writing of something new, but it is so necessary.


The Reluctant Revisionist

I’m going to admit something to you. I don’t like revision. I don’t like the editing of the versions of the drafts. I find the process tedious and dull.

After all, writing something new is sexy. Its exciting, isn’t it? There’s always some new idea, tugging at my brain strings just begging me to start writing it. Why not start on the latest new idea? After all, I finished it, didn’t I?

But its not finished. Its a draft. And a first draft at that. And it probably sucks. I gave myself permission for it to suck and I took that opportunity. The entire purpose of the first draft was to sprint through to the end and get the story told. I told myself it didn’t have to be good, that I would fix the problems when I revised it.

So I need to buckle down and do the revisions, don’t I?

If only it wasn’t so tedious.

Writers: how do you keep yourself motivated during revisions?