I’m Writing This from Revision Hell

This month has been spent in revision hell. I’m revising two novels and trying very hard to get them ready for a March 31 submission. One is a hard deadline; the other is self-imposed (important if we ever want to get our stories out there–there’s always a reason to not be writing if we let there be).

But there is no hell for the writer like Revision Hell.

I currently reside on the seventh level, the ‘this book sucks’ level where plot points and dialogue I thought were so cool in the first draft now strike me as vapid globs of desperation. Oh lord, deliver me from my woe!

–Writer Unboxed

Here’s this excellent post by Holly Lisle (my personal hero) on revising in one shot.

Here’s what she says on revision hell:

And let’s debunk one bit of writer myth while we’re here: Doing a seventeenth revision on a project does not make a writer an artist or move him above the writer hoi polloi any more than dressing entirely in black or wearing tweed jackets with leather elbow patches or big, black drover coats. These are all affectations, and smack of dilettantism. Real writers, and real artists, finish books and move on to the next project.

Because this is isn’t a real post, other than to gather resources I need (and you may need), here you go.

I hate revising more than anything in the universe. More than cleaning up cat puke. I am done with this book and do NOT want to work on it anymore.

This is where I’m at, y’all.


  1. I’ve been at that place before, too. Sick of the book, sick of the characters, realizing the writing stinks.
    Time to set aside and start a new book, then when ready go back and edit. Sometimes that helps you “see” what readers see when they read your book. i.e., you are envisioning a sunny day, a lush green park with leaves everywhere on the ground and some slatted benches and based on your description the characters could be sitting in a parking lot at night. I find setting the book aside a while very helpful in that regard :-)
    Good luck with your revisions, Lori. I know the finished products will be great!

  2. Author

    That’s all wonderful advice, Kimberly.

    I’m sure I’ll get through it. I’ve got a theory that whatever part of writing I’m currently doing is the absolute worst part. It perpetually changes, lol.

    Thanks so much for the vote of confidence. I hope you’re right!

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