Saturday, December 11, 2010

Revision Blues

11 days into revisions and I'm still trying to figure out how to start. I've tried to graph plot arcs, but realized I was spending more time figuring out the graph program than figuring out whose plot arc was where. I think I need to go a bit more low-tech.

I've nailed down (for the most part) the motivations of the POV characters and I've identified some subplots that are ripe for the chopping block, but it's hard to wrap my mind around the whole project.

Anyone have tips on how to start revisions? Do you start with the plot? Characters? What techniques do you use? Do you just go back to the beginning and fix the first chaper... and so forth? Methinks some training is in order....


  1. Since I haven't got to the end of my manuscript yet I am not certain that I can be of much help. Of course I worked out all the plots and sub-plots before I started writing by writing a story summary.

    This could also be a helpful technique for you to use because it could help you look at your entire story and help you understand what sub-plots you want to keep and which you don't.

    It would be hard to describe how I wrote it except to say that it was very condensed. What I liked about it was with this technique I could explore how all the story plots and important character interactions fit together before I started writing.

    If your curious to see an example of the story summary concept I use and the resultant chapters I would be happy to send them to you but obviously I would not want to post them here.

  2. I think with the next book I'm going to try very, very hard to outline first. I tried with this one, but found I couldn't predict the plot without writing the scenes. I'm hoping with more practice in plotting, it will be easier to outline

    I have written a summary, and that helped me see some of the useless subplots--I guess I'm just a bit daunted....

  3. Oh man. I wish I could help you, but as it turns out I'm sitting here reading other people's blogs so I don't have to do my own revisions.

    All I can say is, eat the elephant one bite at a time.

    And don't use tired cliches like the one above.

  4. Brodi--thanks! That was... very helpful! :)

    Actually, I'm just proud that Brodi Ashton stopped by my blog. Having trouble deciding if I'm more pleased you came or anxious that EVERNEATH might be delayed because you did.... :D

  5. Well, my advice is not to dive straight into the revisions. You really need to let the thing sit for a little while, say a month and let yourself get some distance. Start outlining the next story. Or try writing a short story. Do something else for a bit and then come back to the revisions.

  6. Meredith--thanks! I've heard that advice before and really do plan to follow it... after I'm done changing what I already know needs to be changed. Is that wrong? I feel like the swiss-cheese plot I've written can hardly be called a first draft, so I want to at least get a complete story together and then let it sit while I work on something else for a month or so. What do you think? (Not that I've been actually working on it much this month, anyway....)

  7. That happens to me anytime I try scrivener/storyist and its ilk - I spend all my time trying to figure out the formatting shortcuts and then groaning in frustration. I just use good old fashioned Word. :)

    I'm also schlepping through revisions now...which is probably why the word verification below is "schep".

    Oh no another Team Edward? lol Are you a Twihard at least or do you loathe it? Thanks for the book rec!

  8. 52Faces--Of course I'm a Twihard! There are very few books that haunt me like Twilight did. I just like to root for the winner. Jacob is cool, but Edward was always gonna win.

    You'll like I Am Not A Serial Killer. The sequel is Mr. Monster, with I Don't Want to Kill You due out soon. I'm so excited!!

    Any revision advice from the trenches? Kevin J. Anderson told me to make a list and that's working, but I'm still getting started.

    (I like this hop-and-jump conversation, BTW. Makes me feel like I should actually post this somewhere on your blog....)