“Write drunk, edit sober?” I think Hemmingway had that backwards.

(c) 2013 Kira Butler Licensed under CC 2.0

A couple of weeks ago, I finally knocked off my shitty first draft and sent my novel to a few beta readers for feedback. In the meantime, I’ve noticed several places I’ve screwed up–and I’m not even talking about the typos that run rampant throughout the draft! I accidentally left a chapter out when I compiled everything. I reversed two other chapters. When I changed up the plot, it made some previous characters and events irrelevant or nonsensical–but I forgot to rewrite those passages or edit those characters. My poor beta readers–they’re probably trying to figure out a way to tell me my novel makes as much sense as the Kardashians’ fame.

In short, I seem to have made a mess of it. *Sigh* Please pass the wine!

But it’s okay–because the important thing is, I got through the first draft. And I’m now moving on to the second one. The feedback continues to come in from my beta readers, feedback that is critical and oh so appreciated. For example, without Melanie, I would not have realized that my male protagonist’s hair “curled around the tips of his ears” no less than three times. Maybe I should just give him a haircut and be done with it!

Revising is, I’ve discovered, much more painful and more deserving of sweet libations than just plunking the words down on the paper to begin with. But it’s a good kind of pain, like the way your muscles ache after an intense workout. (I wouldn’t know that firsthand, but I’ve heard…) And revising means you’ve achieved something; you have to have written in order to revise, and that’s no small accomplishment.

So please excuse me while I crack open this Flying Dog Dogtoberfest Marzen. I’ve got a chapter to rewrite.