Continuing on the revision journey this month….
Revision requires using a lot of different tools, and knowing which one to use when. I finished with my spreadsheets, and finding it useful for macro changes. I.E this chapter should be moved here. Taking pieces and focusing on one at a time is very useful. It keeps me from getting overwhelmed. One book that I recommend fro revision is the Weekend Novelist Rewrites the Novel, which is where I first got the idea to do a spreadsheet listing each chapter, a short description, characters in each scene, and other information so I had it at a glance. I admit I haven’t done everything suggested in that book, but the exercises are useful. I have also been taking an online class in revision that has a monthly meeting and blog posts with revision worksheets. Going through them helped me find some holes.
I ended up moving chapters after the climax to right before the climax to raise the stakes. While it is requiring me to rewrite plenty of scenes, I am much happier with what I have now. It may seem odd, but I find focusing on the end first when doing revision works best. It tells me what I have to sneak in earlier in the story, and I know where I need all the characters. Just listing what needs to happen for the climax to work (objects? characters? What skills do they characters need to have? What do they need to know? What does the reader have to believe by the climax for it to be accepted?) is a good revision tool.
I am at the point where I know I have a lot of work, but feeling good about it because I know what I want to do. Its when I read through something and know it isn’t working, but have idea what to fix or how that leaves me depressed.
Hoping to get through revising the last section including the climax this month. Then I will go back and work on the middle, which I have a suspicion is going to be the hardest section to tackle. (Well, it doesn’t help that the middle is without a doubt the longest section in the way I am dividing it up.)
Happy Halloween everyone!