"The key idea to remember is that fixing a broken novel is like organizing an overstuffed closet: things get messier before they get better. You have to pull everything out before you can get it straightened up, which looks (and feels) like a disaster when you're in the middle of the operation. Deal with that, the psychological fact that you're eviscerating first, fixing later, and you'll go a long way toward meaningful editing, as opposed to rearranging deck chairs on the Hindenburg."
--Scott Westerfeld is the author of the Uglies Trilogy and So Yesterday
(captured from NaNoWriMo's page "You've finished your novel, now what?)
How true is this? And so dear readers, I go into day two of cleaning step-dots room. And it is true - it is messier than when I started - or appears to be. Because there were nests of stuff under the bed, in the closet and in the drawers. And now everything is clean but the pile on the floor. I will sort it best I can - give up at some point and shovel the rest into a bag. The bag will remain in the basement until I'm sure there is nothing in it she is missing - then it will be gloriously kicked to the curb. (well it would be if we had a curb but we are country mice so it will be kicked to the road.)
Now, how is my revision process like this? I have an unwieldy mass of information (stuff) mostly unorganized. There are some clean edges - I like my beginning - it is pretty clean. There are some things that I can make out in the mass/mess - some themes, some clues, some recurrences of thoughts and a hidden organizing principle. I can sort it and organize it so that someone (a reader) will be able to use it (read it) and have its individuality and quirkiness appreciated.
See you in an hour or two when I'm finished the room and about to begin the revising, writing.