I revise every story or draft every time I read it.
Even though the plan was to spend the weekend revising Dead Wrong, I came across an agent's name that seemed perfect for Wishing Caswell Dead, a "completed" manuscript. The guidelines require a very short synopsis, shorter than the ones I had already prepared, and the first ten pages of the novel.
Cut, cut, delete, delete, then rewrite. The mini-synopsis was done in about an hour.
I read over the first ten pages and decided they needed a bit more revising. Add a word here, delete one there, rewrite a sentence, then one more. That took another hour.
The query and submission were ready, but I hesitated before sending the e-mail. Should I take one more look?
Stop, I thought. I clicked on Send. It's gone. Why is this so hard to do?
Writing a first draft is easy for me. Declaring a novel finished and ready for submission is difficult. Will I write the life out of a manuscript if I keep going? Or is every revision an improvement? I wish I knew. I keep a copy of each draft, just in case.
What about you? Do you revise your work each time you read it? Have you ever ditched a new and improved draft and gone back to an older version?