So tonight, at 1120pm CST, I finished my revision of “The Cabo Contract.” I have one more read-through to accomplish and then it’s off to my test readers.
As I went through this process, I found myself thinking how much it reminded me of building a piece of furniture or any work of art made out of wood. First, you start with nothing and make it something – something you work on for a very long period of time. Something you devote your efforts, your desires and even your emotions to. And then, the finished work or draft is produced.
The draft is good – it looks almost like you want it to look – but there are rough edges to it. That’s when the revision process, the sandpaper, comes into play. You take the sandpaper and you go to work on the rough spots. You work each spot down until it is nice and smooth and along the way, you expose a few more rough spots in the process that you have to deal with and you take the sandpaper to them as well and make them smooth. Now, it’s time for the read-through. I put the rough sandpaper, the coarse sandpaper, aside and I break out the fine sandpaper and go back through the story again. Change a work here or there, moving some commas, changing pronouns, etc.
Then it’s off to the test readers, each of whom will use their own sandpaper on the work. And when I get all the drafts back, with comments, I’ll sand down the areas that require it, look it through a final time and then it’s off to the publisher.
It’s a continual process, a lengthy process, but its goal is literally, to produce the smoothest and best story/work possible.
One of the ways you can tell if you’ve got a great story on your hands is that you get more and more excited about it as you go through this process. And I’m really excited about “The Cabo Contract.”