Part one was way back in February. So much has happened since then. I’m on Revision 3.0 now. I’m still refining my process. I think that will be an eternal thing. Step 1 Checklist Step 2 Timeline Step 3 Wac-a-mole revisions Step 4 Scene evaluation Step 5 ProWritingAid Step 6 Devil's in the Detail Step 7 Professionals
Everyone has their own revision process. Journey with me as I discover my process. This is not just broad brush telling you how. It's me showing you mine in detail.
The revision process is a mystery some people. Some hate it. Some love it. For me personally, I'm still finding my groove. Right now, I'm 28k words into a 50k novel, so before too long, I'll be in the revision stage again. Part of me is biting at the bit to get started on fixing some major problems with the story. Another part of me is dreading it because there is so much to fix with this story. I've talked to a lot of authors over the last 5 years or so. No two authors write or revise the same way. Some write very cleanly in their first draft and need very little revision and editing before publication. Some revise as they write. Some overwrite and some underwrite in their first draft. For some revision means just fixing some things, but for others it means completely rewriting the whole story from page one to the end. It can even change from story to story. Once I get through with the revision on my current novel, I'll share my current method. Meanwhile, AJ Korman shared with me her method of revising her novels. AJ is the author of The Halloway Hills Middle School Mysteries. She has a ton of great advice for revision! Here is what she wrote:
There is a blurry line between archetype and stock characters which is why some say there are 14 archetypes and others say 99 or 133. I would say the difference is how common this type of character is in stories. For example the Jester can be the Protagonist or the Antagonist or even a side character so you can find some form of a jester in almost every story. On the other hand, not all stories have a gentle giant character. Let’s begin: The Leader This is often the protagonist, but they might not start that way. If you are familiar with the Hero’s Journey, then you know that often the protagonist starts in the status quo. They are living a life that’s probably kind of dull. They frequently long for something better. Or maybe they are happy with their life and something comes along and takes that away. Read more...
What is a setting? Your elementary school English teacher probably said it’s the where and when of a story. True. But as a writer, we know that the setting is more than just the where and when. The weather and social climate can also be part of the setting. It can be to mood and emotions that the characters can’t express. It can be pure beauty, when a great writer and reader are paired up. The setting can speak to our souls as much as any character. It can make the reader long to live in that little cottage in the woods surrounded by fairies or in the bustling 1920’s city of Chicago. The setting can be so alive that it feels like a character in and of itself.
Finding a critique group that is a good fit for you is HARD! You might want to create your own group. But where do you start? I have it all laid our for you here in this post!
For beginning writers, one of the most difficult things to do is to finish the story they'd started. There is always another story that promises to be better. But that creates a big problem for writers.