Today I'll finish proofreading revisions that my editor requested for my science fiction novel, Green Light Delivery. Doing these revisions has been a fascinating experience, and the first time I've revised a novel under editorial instructions, rather than in the pre-submission stage.
The editor asked me to flesh out a character who doesn't actually show up until the end, yet on whom the story hinges. Therefore, although the bulk of my changes were in the last fifth of the novel, I needed to prepare the reader better to meet this character by leaving hints and stepping stones throughout the earlier chapters.
At first I worried that inserting and changing elements all the way through would be like wiggling bolts and nails in a building structure: it could make everything fall down. But instead, it made me rethink every sentence with this new purpose in mind and make changes that shored up and strengthened the work overall.
At least I hope it did! Currently I'm at that stage where I've stared at it so long that it all looks ridiculous.
How do you feel about the process of novel-revision?