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Raring to…

Revise!

Yes, you heard me right. I am gearing up for the great novella revision, and I couldn’t be more excited!

I know. What on earth has gotten into me? I can’t really explain it. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a good bit of editing – I love cutting words, and finding ways to make things better, and cutting words, and adding more tension and all that (and cutting words – did I mention that?).

But right now, I am knee deep in the part of the process I loathe the most, and I’m more excited about it than I have ever been before. Go figure! Today I went through the novella and made scene notes, and then noted conflicts and changes, and then wrote comments on what needs improving, what needs removing, what needs moving… And came up with a pretty decent length list of things I need to do.

Strangely, this is not that different from how I normally do things. I don’t edit in order, I make lists of things to do, then usually I start with something easy (to prove that I CAN do it, and LOOK IT’S REALLY NOT SO BAD), and then I tackle something major so that I can sigh with relief and pat myself on the back for a job well done, before going back to something quick, so that I can tick something else off the list and see PROGRESS, and so on until I am sick of the sight of the thing and can’t wait to send it off to my poor crit buddies.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, about other peoples editing processes, and it’s encouraged me no end to see that HEAPS of people do it this way. I thought, for awhile, that I was basically just flailing around blindly, but it turns out that folks like Chuck Wendig and Rachel Aaron have a similar process. I’ve taken some notes from both of those articles, and incorporated them into my own process to give a try this time, as always I’m ever hopeful of finding a way to make it all run a bit smoother.

I still have to write a timeline for the novella (groan…. but I know how important this is. I mean, I’m pretty sure that at one part of my novel it’s summer and then a few days later its the middle of winter), as well as get some character info solidly on the page. A few people get a bit wobbly here and there. Gotta straighten them out.

But this story is GOOD, I really believe that. Now I can’t wait to make it BETTER.

And I think, for the first time in a long time, maybe ever (definitely ever, for a story longer than a short), I’m doing all of this before I send it to so much as a single reader. I’m super pleased with myself for that. I’m going to call that growth, and a step towards not being such a lazy writer.

Go me πŸ™‚

Hope you’ve been having a good week!

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4 thoughts on “Raring to…”

  1. I do my timelines in excel.
    I track time along the top (day 1, 2, etc or week 4 etc or 1 month later etc)
    Down the side I list the names of the MC and other major characters.
    In each coirresponding cell I put a few words about the scene
    “trapped in forest, rescued by Hans”
    ‘Imprisoned.” “On trial” “sword duel with Bianca”

    This sytem works best when I fill it in as I go, keeping all events in sync and making sure characters are not in 2 places at once.
    However, during NaNoWriMo, when I wrote 55,000 words in a month, I didn’t log anything. I eneded up with no timeline, no way of tracking who was where & when, and no clear sense of time in my novel.

    This time, I created my timeline in retrospect. It was much harder than doing it as I go, but it was well worthwhile. An excel sheet (orseveral printed sheets taped together) allows me to see the enetire book clearly, and condense, or move chunks around, without creating any blunders.

    I just started revising a week ago. I list all the problems too, but I deal with the hardest ones first (scenes that need rewriting, dropped themes, change in plot direction etc), then progress through the book correcting the smaller errors from the start onwards.

    Enjoy your revision.
    Have fun. I do.

    1. Thank you for sharing your process. I hadn’t read this yet, and was like “I really need to start my timeline…” and then I read your comment and now I know how! It’s sounds like a good way to do it. I don’t even know how many days the story happens over LOL. Not my strong point πŸ˜‰

      I usually deal with the major ones first, but this time I have a couple small ones like renaming the town. I am going to do that first. A simple find and replace LOL I will feel as though I have done something very quickly!

      Do you blog or anything? been trying to track you down online but haven’t managed it πŸ™‚

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