revision difficulties

Issues I Must Deal With in This Novel Revision

How’s your novel revision going, Darcy?
Big v. little issues. I work for a while to clarify in my mind the big structural issues, then work on a single chapter of the novel, making it fit that overall structure. But at some point, I lose sight of the overall picture, and I’m just doing line editing. When I finally catch myself, then I have to shift focus back to the structure of the novel. I know how it should go, but it practice, it’s messy. Frustrating.

Besides structural issues, what are you working on?
Feedback forces changes. As I revise each chapter, I also go through mss that my friends marked to see where they were confused or bored. This raises various issues that must be dealt with. MUST BE DEALT WITH, I remind myself sternly. I cannot ignore a comment, even if I disagree or even if I think the commenter is purely sadistic. Forcing myself to consider what the reader felt, understood, hated, etc. is important. But it’s messy. Frustrating.

Wow. Two frustrating things in this novel revision. Anything else going on?
Major plot changes. Oh, yes. There’s one major plot point in the novel coming up soon that I MUST DEAL WITH. But I have no idea what to do. It will totally change the climax of a subplot and I like that climax. I don’t want to change it. I don’t want to re-imagine it. I know that I MUST DEAL WITH IT, but I’m waiting until I get there next week. Still, not knowing the solution is messy. Frustrating.

Can you verbalize the issues you are facing in your novel revision? It helps me to be able to say, this is the problem I must deal with. General complaining helps, too. It does! It gets out the frustration, so when I get to the actual writing of the novel, I can make that shift to right-brained writing and get so involved in what I’m doing that I lose track of time. In that mental state, there are no frustrations, there’s only the writing.