Sunday, September 4, 2011

Revising a book is like drilling for a diamond

This past month I've been doing edits on two books that are coming out in 2012.  One is my YA fantasy NO GODDESSES ALLOWED and another one is a re-release of my first YA urban fantasy EARRINGS OF IXTUMEA.

Writing the first draft is the easy part.

Then comes the fun part.  The edits and revisions.

I compare the revising process to a diamond.

At first a diamond looks like this:

It's very rough and not a true diamond.

Kind of like writing.  The first draft is the same way.  That's one reason why when I'm done with a first draft I'll put it away for a few and work on something else.

In order to get a diamond you have to drill and chip away with a special type of drill:

This process can take some time.  Like your story, you chip away backstory, overused words, adverbs, and other things.  This can also include inconsistencies in the storyline.  Maybe there's too many POVs in the story.  Head hopping can also be a problem.

After you chip away at the rock, you then can see the final product:

This process can take a while but it's well worth the end results.

And this doesn't even include the edits you have to do after your book is picked up with a publisher.  For me there has been line edits, content edits, and yet more edits before it goes to acquistations and the printer.

Jackson Pearce did a great job of describing this whole revision process:


  1. Oh, yeah. The "good" stuff. Nice comparison. Just hack away at the rough original and discover the shining beauty beneath. Congratulations on your books and best of luck. :)

  2. Absolutely right on. Loved the metaphor. Now I'm off to do some drilling. Thanks for the inspiration.