Monday, March 22, 2010

The Revision Diaries (1)

I've decided to jump right into revisions. I know, I know. You're supposed to give it a rest. But for me, that part comes later. Since I outline so very much, my revisions aren't super crazy. At least not until I get some outsider feedback and they point out things I would never see. Then my brain explodes.

So far I've mapped out two new chapters: one is brand new, and one is the result of splitting a chapter. Right now my main concern is this brand new chapter. Because I have to write the thing. From scratch. And it totally wasn't part of my original outline. But I changed the end of chapter one (based on some awesome feedback from my crit partner) so I needed a new chapter two. The good news is that the old chapter two is being renamed Chapter Three, and not much else is changing there.

As of now, The Temper has grown from 15 chapters to 17. I've created 17 new word docs and copy/pasted each chapter into it's own separate file. This makes it waaaay easy to focus on one chapter at a time, and once I have them all smoothed out individually, I'll put 'em back together and make sure it works as a whole.

On my revision list I have:

-One chapter that needs to be drafted (the biggest priority right now).
-One chapter that I don't really like, so I need to fix that.
-Two chapters that are messy and full of telling vs. showing.
-Two chapters with messy beginnings, but the rest is okay.
-Three chapters that need more description/world building.
-Three chapters that are supposed to be heavy/emotional, so I need to make sure that is accomplished.
-Three chapters that need general smoothing out-- adverbs, dialogue tags, little bits of telling vs. showing, that sort of thing.
-Two chapters that are pretty much polished/done (for now).

Today I'll be working on the chapter that needs to be drafted, and adding about 3K words in the process. Which is fantastic, as I want to beef up the story. It's looking a little anemic at 46K.

Okay, this is the part where you guys tell me your revisions are just as obsessive compulsive as this and I am not a crazy person, and this is completely normal (normal for writers, not normal for regular, sane human beings).



  1. It sounds like you have a pretty clear plan. I jumped straight into revising as well, and it wound up working out really well for me so far. Good luck!

  2. Your process sounds like mine, including the inability to give it space after the first draft. I'm not bored of it yet so why wait? I just want to start the editing process while everything is still churning in my mind. Once I'm bored of it, then it gets a break. At least until I'm dying to work on it again. :)

    Good luck with the edits!

  3. Good luck with your edits. So far I have just jumped into it. I think I am just now getting to the point of taking a break to refresh.
    Good luck!

  4. We writers are a different breed, aren't we?

    It sounds like you got a great process! Good luck!

  5. I haven't done revisions yet (got to finish the WIP first), but I know I'll be pretty obsessive about it. I'm already taking notes about what needs to be changed and rewritten as I go along. I think I might have to steal that idea of making documents for each chapter. It might help me focus on the individual chapters better. Good luck on revisions!

  6. What you've mapped out looks totally reasonable. My process isn't too much different, but you have to find one that works for you. If your comfortable with it, then its the right way.

  7. Eh? Obsessive Compulsive revisions? This does not compute. I'm obsessive about a lot of things, but revisions aren't one of them. Well, unless you count my tendency to read through the whole manuscript and correct as I go as obsessive. I can't split edits up by chapters; probably would make it less mind-boggling though.

  8. I jump in straight away and I make lists and I split my chapters up into individual files.

    So, you're obviously a genius.

    I'm pretty sure that you're way more organised then I am though.

  9. I like your idea of putting each chapter in a separate document. For my current WIP, I split the book into three documents to make it easier during the editing phase. As for putting it down for a month, I didn't do that yet either. I think putting it down should come after you've done a round or two of edits.