Why didn’t anyone tell me that the second I finished revisions and tried to hand this novel off to beta readers I would be consumed with the need to start sending queries? I’ve been patiently biding my time all along, compiling my list of agents, crafting my letter. But I’ve known I wouldn’t send anything out until other humans have read this story and at least told me it isn’t a bunch of nonsense words in a trench coat.
Revision, in particular, was way more of an emotional rollercoaster than drafting for me. There were at least two, maybe three, points at which I sort of gave up in the middle of word renovations, convinced that the story didn’t have good bones or even bones at all. That I couldn’t fix it because it wasn’t anything to begin with.
I remember that exact feeling from academic writing, too. And it always came during revisions.
Because there’s something really important happening at that stage, I think. You’ve gotten things out on paper. You now have several clear visions: what you imagined, at first, pure and crystalline inside your head; what you’ve made (not so pure or crystalline now, is it, buddy?); and what you’re actually trying to do with the words on the paper.
In revision, you’ve got to triangulate between those three things. It’s like you built a puzzle after glimpsing the full image of what it was supposed to be. Then, someone threw that image away, and you have to fix the puzzle based on what you think is going on after that original helterskelter puzzle sesh.
It’s a magic but infuriating process. I love it, but it’s the worst.
Anyway, that’s enough metaphors for one revision post. Long story short, I’m not querying until I hear back from my beta readers and do another pass. But the urge is strong.