Revision: It’s All About Revision!

M.J. Downing

Some of you might remember the cover of this book that was on an old FB page called “The Ridge Road Mysteries.” The cover art is mine and though I had a better one designed by the talented Mr, Anthony Nowicke, this one was my first. You might even see it on Amazon still, the ghost of it anyway.

I have been rewriting it for some time now, and after some really great reader comments from Ms Victoria Lea, my esteemed agent, it is getting better and better, even though I thought that my last version was the best yet. My point is, revision is key. I’m amazed at how careful reader insight always moves me out of the way I read my own work. The new one, under the working title, Starling’s Call, is a much better, tighter book.

My message is, whatever you are working on, get feedback from critical readers—not mean readers who only want to troll your work, but caring folk who can look at a work and help see what is there in the depths. Yes, it will involve cuts and removals, but the revision process will open doors for you. I can’t help but think that any position I take, no matter how I see it as solid, improves when I listen to voices I am willing to trust in community. It will resolve into a new position at some point, one that is better, clearer, more readable and more able to reach others. So, try not to think in isolation of what you already know. Move out of your head and listen. IU think there might be more at stake, there, than a coming of age novel.

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