Saturday, March 17, 2012

At what point do we stop revising?

We all want our books to be perfect. We want every word, every sentence, every paragraph to crafted with utmost originality, the words to be spelled correctly, our grammar flawless. The novel, short story, or poem has to have some form of emotional effect on our readers, or we never feel like we've done our job.

I self-published my first completed novel last year in the Spring. At the time, I was satisfied with the end result. Since then I've pulled the book from the sales sites and began a process of rewriting. I'm quite pleased with the way the novel is going, but I began to wonder...How much is too much? At what point do we stop revising?

I know I'm not the only one who does this; I've seen countless threads on various writing sites where others advise to set the book away for a few weeks and let it marinate. But...I can't seem to make myself do that. I tend to revise each chapter after it's finished, then go back through several times. After that I give it to a few people for critiques, then back to revising again. But, even though I thought I'd done plenty of revising, I'm back to rewriting the whole damn thing.

How many times do you revise and rewrite each of your pieces of work? Do you tend to over write? Do you obsess over your novels or other pieces when you've finally put it away?