Friday, January 16, 2015

Old Dog New Tricks

I've written ten novels and I've approached revision the same for all of them.

After feedback from my editor, I just dove in head first.

Sometimes working in chronological order.

Sometimes skipping around.

Usually fixing the easy stuff first.

Saving the harder stuff for last.

But for my latest work in progress, I'm taking a new approach and I think I like it!

First, I read through my "to do" list of revisions about a gazillion times, so that I had most of it firmly committed to memory.

Then, instead of diving in head first, I took a deep breath and very slowly, methodically read through the entire manuscript.

As I read along, I used Post-It notes to mark the parts I wanted to change or where I wanted to add something.

When I was done.....eureka!

I had a forehead-thwacking DUH moment!

This was a much better approach to revision.

Here's why:

First and foremost, I got a very clear BIG PICTURE of the story as a whole......not just in bits and pieces.
I was left with a pretty clear idea of just how much work I was facing.

I could work in chronological order of the story, which helps me keep the flow going in the right direction vs. a more choppy approach of working out of order. 

I could move those Post-It notes around a bit, changing where I wanted to add new material, if necessary.

I also printed out a calendar to use to mark the days of the story....for my timeline. 

Never did that before.

But I like it!

So there ya go!

Old dog....

new tricks.

1 comment:

Betty Birney said...

A very clear and concise take on the revision process. I do keep a calendar of events - on a real calendar - when I write a Humphrey book, mainly because the stories take place in school and have to follow and school/holiday schedule. Hate that part but saves problems later. Thank goodness my editor is all over the timeline and whatever I mess up, she finds. Looking forward to your next book, Barbara!