Friday, September 26, 2014
Tricia McGill--on revision and re-writing
There are some writers who cringe at the thought of editing or revision. For me that has always been the favorite part of writing. I consider it is better to get the words down on the page as fast as my Muse will let me, then after the book is finished, that is the time to go through and make the necessary changes. It’s always a revelation to me when I see what I actually ended up with. I think a lot of authors have the same reaction, thinking, “Did I really write that?” I’m about to embark on re-working most of my earlier published books so I guess it’s a good thing that I enjoy the process, isn’t it.
At some stage in our writing career we have to learn to live with the fact that our work is not as perfect as we like to think it is, and we must allow another person the privilege of reading and criticising our baby.
I’ve worked with a lot of editors in my time, and can’t ever recall an instance when I said, “What you’re saying is a load of rubbish. I refuse to change my work to suit someone else.” I might have said more than once that I much prefer to leave a paragraph as is or just tinker with it, but I value the opinion of editors far too much to ignore their input.
One of my earlier books, now re-published by Books We Love as Remnants of Dreams went through 9 re-writes in its previous life if my memory serves me correctly, which means I have lost count of the editors whose hands it has passed through on its way to publication. I tried different points of view and at one stage wrote it in first person from the POV of the main character. Without the input of editors along the way it would never have won RWA’s Romantic Book of The Year award.
Lonely Pride, due out soon at BWL started its journey in 2004 (with a different name and long-defunct publisher) so that’s another one that has enjoyed the input of a few editors along the way. But I wouldn’t dream of ignoring the opinion and suggestions of my latest editor.
I guess my message to new authors is: Never think your baby is so finished to perfection that you can afford to ignore the wise words of your editor or critique partner.
Lonely Pride--Book 1 in the Beneath Southern Skies series
Links to Tricia McGill’s Books on Books We Love
Tricia McGill’s web page: