The magic of revision

It's amazing how revision actually works. I am doing edits on a book I haven't touched in months. The new text looks poor beside the stuff that's already there; the difference is clear enough to make me wonder if I've lost the ability to write. But then I fiddle, and rearrange, and reword. I replace wordy sentences with tight clauses, replace passive verbs with active ones, rearrange to get the rhythm, and after a while the new stuff blends in with the old and reads like it was always there.

The lesson, that I didn't believe a few years ago, but certainly do now, is that editing works.

I need to remember this as I write book 2, because when I compare a first draft scene in book 2 against the polished scenes of book 1, I get a little worried.

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