Revision: The Story Continues

In September, I wrote about how I realized my “finished” manuscript, even though I was sure many times it was done, needed a quick revision. I had been reluctant. I’d been working on the book for a couple years, thought it was finished a couple times, and it took some soul-searching to go back in.
Boy am I glad I did.
There was nothing quick about the revision at all. I made some significant plot changes, changed the location of my fictional town, added back in some important voice and character things that I felt had been washed out in earlier passes through it.
It was a lot of work. A lot lot lot lot lot of work.
And I enjoyed every minute of it.
But that’s not the best part. The best part is that now I feel it’s the book it was meant to be all along. I realized I was actually happy no agent had picked me up, because the book wasn’t fully grown yet. Now I really believe it is.
I’ve never minded revision. Lord knows I’ve done enough of them on this manuscript. This last time, I feared I’d be so bored with the book by now that I’d do a half-assed job and end up screwing things up. I was thrilled to find I was so excited about my changes and fixes that working on it was just as addictive as when I first started writing it.
I’m looking forward to getting back to the second book in the series, which I’d put on hold months ago while I fiddled with this first one. Now I truly know the fist one is done.
I made the point in September that we may not be finished with a manuscript when we think we are and not to be afraid of revision. I realized two months later how really true that was, and how rewarding taking that final trip through the manuscript can be.

About Maureen Milliken

Maureen Milliken is the author of the Bernie O’Dea mystery series. Follow her on Twitter at @mmilliken47 and like her Facebook page at Maureen Milliken mysteries. Sign up for email updates at She hosts the podcast Crime&Stuff with her sister Rebecca Milliken.
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4 Responses to Revision: The Story Continues

  1. I love this post, Maureen — so encouraging, for those of us facing revisions this season! Congrats on your well-chosen efforts. And I look forward to reading the book!

  2. edithmaxwell says:

    Awesome, Maureen. I think it is so true, that letting a book marinate for a couple of months is a wise thing to do. Best of luck with it! I also enjoy revision, especially when I have enough time to do it justice (these days, time is in short supply in my life, unfortunately).

  3. Pingback: Revision is Writing II: It’s also required and relentless (and that’s writing, too) | Pen, Ink, and Crimes

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