Losing a Finger

My ballroom dance team got a new coach during junior high. He really focused on improving our technical skill and spent a lot of time correcting mistakes we’d mixed into our dancing. 

One evening he was demonstrating the correct tango hold, and my partner shouted, “Holy crap, Ray!  You only have four fingers!”

Until someone screamed it out, none of us (unobservant twelve-year-olds) noticed.

Ray had a good sense of humor, told us the story of how his finger got torn off by a conveyor belt (ew), and went back to teaching.  He also said that he could still do everything with four fingers that he could with five, including playing the piano.

Yesterday I got my revision suggestions from my agent. 

Yeah…tearing off a finger…I get that now.  She asked that I consolidate two male characters into one. Part of me wanted to shriek in agony, “Don’t take him away!  I love him!”  Or something equally dramatic. 

I pouted for a few minutes, talked to my crit partners (Thanks ladies! I LOVE you guys!), and then got to work. 

Fifty pages into the revision I realized, “Hey…this doesn’t hurt so bad.”  My story can still function short one character.  And maybe (gasp) be a better, cleaner version than the original (thus the reason we work so hard to get an agent…they know things we don’t).

Has anyone had to go through painful revisions?  What lessons did you learn along the way? 


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