Anything worth doing will have struggles. But anything worth the struggle is worth doing ~ Megan Finsel

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Her Mission: Revision

In the smoky dawn light the knight dismounted her steed and dropped to the ground, leaves crunching beneath her boots, chainmail shifting with a metallic rasp. With a gloved hand she grasped the hilt and drew her sword, the scrape an electrifying sound in the otherwise silence. I know you’re here, she thought as she scanned the forbidden woods, her eyes seeking the traitors she hunted…
    Just then, leaves rustled behind her!
    She swung around, sword slicing the sunrise and flashing light. But, her heart pounding, the knight realized she was alone. So she continued on, the air peppered by only her horse's hoof beats, as her thoughts narrated each movement.

I am the knight of revision and
tis my mission to seek and slay the typos haunting the woods of this
rough draft.

As she stepped lightly amongst the toadstools and roots in this imagined forest, brandishing her sword, our knight’s mind strayed back to her younger days, back to when she’d been simply a squire, and the words of her mentor resurfaced:

“Revision is something which you must devote 110% of your attention to.
Tis all-consuming, entirely enveloping, and long containing.
You must be focused and on full alert for the enemy can appear anywhere
at any time.
And even though the writing is ultimately the fun part,
Revision is where the true work (the all-consuming work) begins.”

    The week before, our young, brave knight embarked on this journey. It was A Novel Idea which she’d had, to return to the core genre of her writing muse: the fantasy novel. This quest was to revisit and revise the rough draft of a novel she had previously written, which she’d been nursing for almost a year.
    So, taking up her sword, she mounted her steed and set out from page 1 to 451, slaying each gnome-ish mistake and seeking to vanquish the Queen of the Typos.

    But, I personally like revision, the knight found herself thinking, tis a chance for me to see what I wrote from the outside, enabling me to relive the adventure as a spectator and meet my characters again. Tis the opportunity to add depth and layers to the story…

    However, there was one thing complicating this quest, an unforeseen difficulty upon which our knight had stumbled, which was a bigger foe than she had yet to face:
Repetition
    For the knight found nothing droller than riding through the same forest, past the same trees, and encountering the same fiends, from dawn until dusk! For our knight is quite a… random person and would rather do a lot of different things other than rereading…
    Nevertheless, tis worth it! She would think and then press on.
    As morning sank into noon, and then late noon into evening, and the sun began to inch towards the West, our knight continued on her search, climbing fallen logs and ducking low branches, riding past ramshackle huts and through bramble and briar. Occasionally, she encountered foes to fight – trolls, ogres and witches – but for the most part twas a quiet day. Eventually, she found a peaceful place to camp as night befell the forest.
    To the symphony of a fire, the crackling blaze of her ignited imagination, she knelt there near the coals polishing her sword, honing her craft, and staring out into the unknown depths of the surrounding darkness with an excited anticipation for the coming of whatever tomorrow would bring.
    I shall keep on keeping on! She vowed. Leave no word unread, no page unturned; I will step forth and seek to keep revising until all the typos have been vanquished and each problem has been slain! After all, no one said that the work of an author wouldn’t have struggles, she knew, but anything worth the struggle is worth doing!
    As the firelight continued to burn against the night, our ambitious heroin gazed up through the canopy to see a hopeful moon peeking out from behind the clouds of doubt, and she was just barely able to contain her enthusiasm, for she knew:
Twas nary The End