I love systems. And here’s one I developed to help with a knotty aspect of revising a novel – the moment when you suddenly fear you’ve missed something big.
This happened to me with Ever Rest, which I recently finished. I was well advanced in revisions when I read an essay that brought me to a screeching halt.
One of the characters dies tragically young, and the story follows the fall-out of this. So when I saw an essay about young grief on Literary Hub I gave it a read.
It was spellbinding, raw. So unexpected. I finished with sickening anxiety. This was what I wanted for my characters, but I feared I hadn’t done it. My confidence was in tatters.
This is what might have happened: open the manuscript, flail about in a panic, rewriting stuff. Over-reacting etc etc. Making ill-considered changes. Getting in a big…
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