My latest insight from Mr. King has to do with WHEN to revise. He suggests leaving your baby on the sidelines until you've all but forgotten about it. It's the writer's version of the "old" adage, mentioned in the movie Swingers—she won't call until he's completely forgotten about her. King suggests a minimum of 6-8 weeks apart from your latest prodigal work.
I had promised myself at least a month away from my NaNo work before revising it, but over the break I cheated a little. I tried working on it one morning and I'll tell you, it was PAINFUL. The whole thing continually frustrated me. I didn't get very far, to say the least.
King also suggests working on something else in between the original write and the revising. Something that can easily fill in the time slot between draft 1 and draft 2. Something that's completely different from the original project in question. So I've been working on this new dystopian, post-apocalyptic YA mumbo-jumbo that, unfortunately, for the first time for me, has no set ending in my mind. I mean, the mental outline is coming along, developing some decent plot twists, and the basic stuff at the beginning isn't going to make or break the ending, but I'm in personal uncharted territory. And it's scary. And it's hard.
I'll push through, though. Don't worry.
But with all of this, the funny bit is that I did set aside something before NaNo, and I have all but forgotten about it. It didn't even occur to me to go back and revise it until I read this section in King's book. My first big piece (that doesn't fall into the FanFic category) is sitting on my hard drive, all but forgotten, waiting for me to come back and edit it up. I can read it as if it had been written by someone else, rip it up, and decide if I want to market it or not. I might be able to do a better job with fresher eyes.
So, to summarize:
- Monarchy's Lies (currently in search of a new title): ready for the knife.
- Demon (also in search of a new title): desperately needing some time on the sidelines.
- Underground (working title, but, knowing me, it'll probably change): causing pain and anguish; still working on the mental outline; trying my hand at chapter 4.
What's your strategy for revising? Do you wait until you can look at a piece with "stranger's eyes" before revising? Do you have any revision secrets you can share?