Please Revise My Novel Draft

Some of my friends know that I completed the first draft of my fantasy novel almost 3 weeks back. My plan to start editing it is about 2 weeks old and by now, I should have been half through the hell. Yet, nothing of that sort has happened. What did happen was me going through the first 10 pages and declaring it to the worst novel in the history. Why? Good question.

History is witness to my phobia of revision. Back in school when I was a tiny tot, I remember my history teacher poking my belly for getting the spelling of "government" wrong. The answer was perfect but the spelling was wrong. Fast forward it to today, I still get spellings wrong when I email, comment on other's blogs, etc etc which leaves me red-faced (a very bright one at that) when I happen to read it later. All through it, I always promised myself to read it just once before I hit the submit button (back in school, before I submit it to the teacher) but never, I repeat never has that happened. Why? Good question.

Then I wrote my first novel. Wonderful story or so my loyal friends say. It took me approximately 2.5 years to complete that. I almost beat myself with a brickbat to finish it and I did finish it. It was relief. Then was the time to revise it and get it done with. Yet, today the print out of the full unedited novel lies in the first zip pocket of my suitcase and which I am carrying with me from city to city and country to country in the hope that someday I am going to revise it. Then, a strong brain wave hit me and I scrambled to finish my second novel which I wrote in flat 3 months (yeah I am extremely proud of it! :)) and helped me forget all about my first novel (Thank God!). But then once I was done with it, realization dawned upon me. I am back again at the same place I was after my first novel. Time to revise my novel draft! I felt the same uneasy, clammy feeling. How I wish my novel was perfect in the first draft itself!

So, why can't I revise? Not just novels. Anything that I write. Even if it leaves some glaring and potentially embarrassing errors. I guess it is the fear of finding out what a bad writer I am.

I love to write. I can write anything and I love it when I do. When I am overwhelmed, sad, happy, excited, anxious, or any other possible emotion that I am going through, I like to write about it. I have a diary which is filled with nonsense but I write anyway. I have this blog which almost no one reads but I write anyway. I have hundreds of pages of story written which no one would read if I don't revise but I write anyway. But I do not revise. Because when I do, I get scared of reading what I have written. I get scared of reading what imaginations I can have. Sometimes, I also get scared of reading the lines written by me because they sound so different from me. As if it was written by some one else. And I never try to acknowledge that fear. So, I cover it up with loathing for my writing. and that is why I can never revise! Voila! 

That is why I am sitting on the first draft of my novel since three weeks without revising it. Because I am going to loathe it. I remember the high I was in when I was writing it. I loved it. I loved the story and the characters. I am now scared of hating the same people and I don't want to. Yesterday I discussed this with Ashik and he, who never reads my writing nor has any interest in books but has some great work ethics, said - "If you are scared, that's the perfect reason to revise it. The fear should be your motivation. Get on to it, and defeat it. You know you wrote it well. If while revising you feel otherwise, then correct it. Getting scared is not an option". 

Now I know why I fell for him years back. He has once again shown me life needs to be lived. So, now thanks to him, I am going to face my fears once again. I know my sweetest character is going to look ugly and the strongest character lame, but if they do that convincingly, I am going to edit it and make them better.
The fear of revision is, I presume, common amongst many writers. Many must be wishing their first draft be the perfect one. Unfortunately, it is not. Revising your novel is an essential step in the long and arduous path to publishing. Let me do my bit and face it bravely. I hope I can. I will keep you all updated on the progress. 

Wish me luck!


  1. You must have surely done a good job, it is just a matter of time, where you might have to do a few touch ups and there you are done.

    Important is to face that fear, go for it head on and finish it off once for all.

    Alles Gute Shilpa.

  2. Hello there....your novel is very good, your writing inspiring and your imagination unimaginably amazing....editing is just another step in the completion of the your novel...

    P.S. Good to see that your blog has 6 members as opposed to just 2 a couple of weeks back.

  3. Thank you Secondees (Sandeep!)...coming from you,I am feeling much better about my book :)


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