Last edits: What does ‘last’ mean?

December 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

Is a novel ever finished?  What if I reframed the first scene or reworded the last lines?  Why don’t I re-vision the wording of the this or that dialogue?  Does my reader need more description of this place or that place, of this or that character?

On and on go the questions in an author’s mind.  Couldn’t I improve the story here, there…everywhere?  How many revisions can/should/would a novel undergo?

I like my editor’s view: “Let’s revise the story so it’s as perfect as it can be.” So we did.  After three iterations…my changes, her changes, my changes, her changes and my changes, we’re calling the novel ready to publish.  Sure, it’s hard to let it go.  Remember how J.D. Salinger said CATCHER IN THE RYE wasn’t good enough, and virtually went in to seclusion, a frustrated author.  Not me. Nope.  I’m perfecting my next novel as we speak.  I’ve got stories to tell and readers to entertain.  I’ll work hard on each novel with the help of my editors, but eventually I have to let my books go.  Like the 18 year-olds we send off to college, we HAVE to let them go.  Maybe they aren’t perfect, but they’re out there, taking on a life of their own!

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