I have a love-hate relationship with revision. The idea of tearing down something to build it back up even better, even stronger, thrills me. It also terrifies me. What if I rip it apart and instead of making it better, I kill it? I've done it before. I've sucked the heart and life out of many a story, out of many a manuscript. How? Why?
I'm not really sure. It doesn't happen all the time, every time. Sometimes I think I put too much pressure on myself to make it "perfect." Sometimes I take every writing rule I've ever heard about, read about, or was taught and throw them at my poor pages until my story starts to look like a cowering animal in a cage.
But lately, the revision process hasn't felt so daunting. I've pulled out a manuscript I had recently put away because the revision process had wrung me out. I read the original over again. Know what? I liked it. I really did. Sure, there are holes in the plot as big as a house-swallowing-sinkhole. Sure, there are overwritten passages, characters whose hair and eye color change within a chapter, and whole scenes that feel plopped in from another planet. Know what? I still like it.
I can feel the heart of it, beating beating beating. I can hear the voices of the characters as they talk to each other, as they talk to me. I'm taking the revision process more slowly, more carefully than I ever have before. I can save this one. I have to. I will.