I love revising. For me, the first draft is hard. It’s the chicken wire and popsicle stick framework for the final sculpture. Its only job is to make the clay stick. Revising is when I get to do the buildup and shaping. I get so impatient to get to the revisions I sometimes start tinkering with the first chapters while I’m still finishing the first draft. On my current work-in-progress, around the halfway point of completion I decided the beginning was actually the third chapter which meant I had a bit of backstory to work in later in the book. After noting that, I caught myself starting to revise which, ultimately, slowed down the process. In order to stop myself from doing this, I maintained a “notes” file to keep all the great ideas (and some not so great) on character quirks, plot foils, twists, etc. Keeping a running notes file is something I do during research. It’s where I stash the interesting bits that may or may not work their way onto the final pages. This go-around on a new book, I’ve found it’s also a helpful strategy to get myself to put off revising the first chapters and focus on the task at hand: Finish. The. Book. Happy to report I completed the draft last week. Now I’m on the fun part. Watch out for flying clay.