Sunday, September 5, 2010

Traci Can!!

So, I like to watch HGTV's "Carter Can" - a home improvement show - and not just because Carter Oosterhouse is the cutest handyman ever!

The reason I like watching the show is to see the incredible transformations that take place. For instance, on today's show, Carter gutted a small, awkward, out-dated kitchen. He took down walls, added walls, replaced countertops and appliances. He made a whole new kitchen!

And it dawned on me, as I watched him and his team going through all that hard work -- isn't this sort of what we, as writers, do when we take on a major book revision? We have a vision in our heads of the "after" picture, but in order to get there, we must take drastic measures - dismantle storylines, transform characters, replace dated/awkward dialogue, rip out plotlines that don't work, add fresh perspectives and a climax that does work. It's a writer's version of home improvement.

Just like Carter and his team, it takes MASSIVE hard work and mental sweat to make these revisions and see them through. But the result? Well, if we've put in the strenuous work, dedicated ourselves to the process, and allowed BIG, necessary changes to take place - the results can be stunning. The book can be improved to the point where it's nearly unrecognizable, compared to that first "shabby" draft.

So, when you're faced with a massive book revision, take heart - know that the hard work will be worth it, and that, in the end, you'll have a brand-new, sparkly, functional, renovated novel.


  1. That's what I'm doing (um, supposed to be doing) right now. I needed the pep talk. Thanks!

  2. lol, Deb - me, too. I'm procrastinating by answering some long overdue emails. But, I hope to get back to my "revisions" this afternoon! ;-)