Revision Hell

You know what’s harder than writing a book? Revising it. Especially when the book was written a year ago during a single month. Yes, I’m working on revising Novel One. Novel Two is cooling its heels until the magic, sparkly, OMG-I-love-this-book-so-much phase wears off and I can look at it objectively.

I have three main problems with revision. The first is that the English language is no friend of mine. Sure, I’m a native speaker, but I’m also a Computer Science major so they almost cancel each other out. I spent four years in college learning to write code, not prose. In fact, many of those years were spent trying to figure out how to avoid taking any humanities classes at all. Whoops. Who knew that was going to come back to haunt me?

My second problem is that I’m a huge, HUGE procrastinator. (See what I’m doing here? Writing this post? That means I’m not revising.) The only reason I finish NaNoWriMo is because I’m competitive and I have a hard daily word count goal. With revision, it’s a bit trickier because goals aren’t as set in stone. Some chapters need major rewrites and others need minor proofing so a chapter-by-chapter breakdown isn’t that easy. A friend and I are both revising right now, but since we’re both procrastinating, we’re neither getting anything done. Procrastinators unite!

My third and final problem–and the one that is contributing to my lack of motivation–is that Novel One currently stands at around 50,000 words. For a first-time author in the genre, it needs to be more in the 85,000 words ballpark. That’s an extra 35,000 words that I still need to write.

Thirty-five thousand words. During NaNo that would take about 21 days.  In this case, it’s going to take a lot longer because I have to fit it in with what is already written and I just don’t want to write it. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the real problem. Writing a novel is fun; revising a novel is work. Both are required if I want to have any hope of getting published. I just have to tough it out. Wish me luck.  :)

NaNo 2009 Novel Snippet

This snippet is the first 250-ish words of my 2009 NaNo novel.

I opened one eye, only to squint angrily at the clock.  The red digits glowed brightly at me, oblivious to my foul mood—3:08 AM.  Ugh.  “Nicolae,” I said without turning my head, “go home.  It’s an ungodly hour.  I’ll talk to you in the morning.”

Nicolae is the vampire sworn to protect me by an oath to my father—the father I never knew.  He also had the worst habit of popping in unannounced in the middle of the night to check on me.  It woke me up every time, even from a dead sleep, because I could subconsciously feel the change in the room and it set off little alarm bells in my head.  Tonight was especially bad, though, because I had gotten to sleep less than an hour ago.

“Ava,” he gasped, “help.”

I sat straight up, adrenaline surging into my veins.  Nicolae never, ever asked for help.  I’d seen him single-handedly take out an entire coven without requiring any assistance from me.  I scrambled for the switch of my bedside lamp and flicked it on, throwing the room into stark light and deep shadows.

He was crouched at the foot of my bed, his body hunched in on itself.  The left half of his shirt was shredded.  A wound in his side that looked suspiciously like a bullet hole was bleeding steadily.  It was his eyes, however, that put me on edge.  Blood red and practically glowing, those eyes meant trouble.