Sadly -- or happily, I can never make up my mind -- I'm not doing revisions right now. However, I recently agreed to move chairs and things for a local show. (It's a nice gig, actually. Great people, light work, and I get to see the one-acts several times for nothing. Have I mentioned lately I really like theater?) I worked the dress rehearsal, and thus heard the script for the first time. One of cast members said, "You're going to see a completely different show tomorrow." I didn't know if that could be as different as she made it sound, but with a challenge like that, you better believe I paid attention the next night.
Massively different show.
The second night, about two pages of script I hadn't heard before suddenly appeared. (Hey, things happen at dress rehearsal. And if I didn't notice it missing, it means they must have carried it off well. They're quite good.) Changed so much. Suddenly, the relationship between two characters became radically different. This effected the relationship these characters had with a mutual friend, also a part of the show. And a how lot about one of the character's back story became apparent. Totally changed the way I looked at him.
What does this have to do with revisions?
Well, the differences between the versions I saw made me think of different drafts of a book. Between version one and version two, character motivations may change, you might become aware of back story you hadn't previously known, or minor -- maybe even major -- characters might meet with a sudden, untimely death by way of a red pen. Things happen. Things change.
I remember writing the Thief Book. Between versions one and three, nine characters fled into the night never to be seen again, at least in that MS. One new bloke appeared on the screen, and one girl's part grew to subplot sized.
The long and short of it is, in between drafts, things change. Lots of things. Sometimes big things. Huge, colossal, size of a small town with mid-sized populous things. We must accept this. Our stories are not carved in stone. No, they are forged in metal. Thus, they can be taken apart, melted down, reforged, remade, cut off, reaffixed, and otherwise altered. Nothing's perfect, and nothing's permanent.
Things change. Life happens. Roll with it.
How's your writing coming? Revisions? Things changing? Big changes? Small changes? What's the biggest change you've ever made to an MS in between drafts?