Nothing is quite like revisiting a favorite story. You are taken aback by the fact that things you remember have somehow moved or changed. Where once a large room existed, a small room is revealed by the text. The hero isn’t nearly as tall as you imagined him to be, and you discover that he has a crooked smile that belies his carefree nature. A mysterious aspect of the story you once liked now seems trite, and the plot appears more obvious than it did at first.
Then again, in revisiting a story you also discover that the characters you once despised are now sympathetic, the annoying traits of the sidekick now prove endearing, and the world of the story is more detailed than you had thought after your first reading. In your eagerness to reach the end of the story, you missed much of the journey; but, with a second reading you have the delightful opportunity to experience the story in a better frame of mind.
Such are the perils and blessings of rereading a favorite story. Such are the perils and blessings of revising. Revising is mundane as far as writing goes: A change of a name, hair color, a prop, an entire plot line, verb tenses, subject/verb agreement–none of it really matters as far as reading is concerned. Much like a painting, it is the finished product that ultimately gives revising (or the choosing of certain colors and brush strokes) its due. The messy in-between is left for the writer (or artist) to toil and toy with.
What a wonder it is to re-read a scene and to know it stands well on its own–that change to it will only mire it in mediocrity. What a horror it is to realize that one has forgotten a key dialogue exchange between characters–something on which the rest of the story must pivot–and the dawn of understanding that slow, painful work lies ahead.
In revising, in experiencing a re-vision of my stories, I always discover that they are both far worse and far better than I imagined them to be at first. It’s much like re-reading a favorite story, only I have the happy ability to make the bits that don’t work better.
With this thought I continue with my revisions on Trolls for Dust, Season One, and plan to have a completed work in a few months’ time. If you would like more information on me or Trolls for Dust, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.