began revisions in earnest for Holland Bay. But rather than print it out (which is hard since I left BigHugeCo three years ago this month), I instead decided to do some quick search-and-replace edits. For starters, I did an F-bomb purge like I discussed a few weeks back. These were harder to fix than I expected, but I wanted to avoid having more than one F bomb per page. I know there will be some people who say, “Leave them in! Be true to your story!” Well, it’s not your story, it’s mine. So to be true to mine own self, out they come. I suspect a few will go back in eventually, but I’m just getting started.
I then went and searched for “your/you’re” mistakes, followed by “their/there/they’re.” Believe it or not, the only mistake along that line I found was using “you’re” as a possessive rather than a contraction.
Finally, I fixed something that’s been bugging me since the original version of Holland Bay. The fictional city of Monticello, despite dwindling population, is divided into boroughs. The southernmost one, a vast swath of vacant fields, formerly independent towns, and miles and miles of strip malls and fast food chains, was called “Huron.” The problem is that, where Monticello sits, there is a real-life town of Huron, Ohio. However, the fictional Monticello borders the very real town of Milan, birthplace of Thomas Edison. So I did a search-and-replace on Huron and changed the borough name to Edison. Boom. History and realism via Microsoft Word.
Finally, on Sunday morning, I dove into the revisions proper. Structurally, I’m satisfied with the story. There were a few “Mr. Obvious” lines I deleted, as well as chopping some repetitious lines. Early on, where I took more time to finish a day’s writing, I’m not finding so many of these. I suspect later on, I’ll be chopping up whole scenes and rewriting them on the fly. Later in a novel is usually when a writer rushes more. One reason is to finish the damn thing and be done. The other is the excitement that builds when you see the end coming.
That’s why we do revisions.