Since this is a blog about the writing process, I wanted to share with everyone a great gift that I can only assume God himself has given me. The absolute Joy of revision.
Lots of people complain about how they hate to edit. They hate nitpicking, and they hate reading what they've written because they're ashamed or discouraged. I do not have this problem. For me, revision is like a key being wound in the back of a toy; you've got to twist and twist to get it nice and tight, then you let go and all the parts and pieces start moving together as a unit. There's a lot of satisfaction in seeing it work properly, and that's why I love revising.
Right now I'm powering through my second draft of Act2. It's not terrible, but there are definitely places where I can simplify and remove. I write a lot in redundancies, and I explain too much. Explanation is important of course, but generally it's good to assume your reader isn't stupid and doesn't need a review every couple chapters. Today while I was revising I cut out nearly half a page of useless and repetitive dialog and boy do I feel better! Revising is like a drug and once I start I can't get enough of it. I've had to put my manuscript down for nearly a week to get other work done and it's been torture. I can't wait to get back into it, and I'd be doing it right now if I didn't have to walk three needy dogs.
I guess my lesson to the masses is not to be scared of revising. Remembering the soul of your story is what's important and making the prose or sequence of events different to better portray it is key. Read through your stuff and don't be ashamed, see every page as an opportunity to do it again better. Pat yourself on the back for things that are well written, and don't tear yourself up over things that are not. We're only mortals, we are not perfect, and a story is as much a series of errors as anything else we make.