Happy Monday! This week I'm starting a short series of posts on Revision.
*Boo Hiss* *Wrinkles nose* *Pretends to barf*
Nah, it's not that bad. I actually really like the first round of revsion. Why? Because I get to read my story as a whole and savor the tale I've told. I've mentioned before why I think the first draft is just a backbone of a story. It's skeletal, which is fine. It's a start. It's in the first, second, and third rounds of revision that we go back and add the heart and brains of the characters, dialogue, setting, narrative, etc.
I know what you're thinking... Who the heck am I to be giving advice? I'm just a pre-published writer. BUT I've been studying the craft like a madwoman. I devour anything that teaches me how to be a better writer and storyteller. So I'm simply sharing with you what I've already learned. We're all on different levels, but we all have the same goal: to be a darn good writer!
Here's my checklist for the first round of revisions: (Think Big Picture)
* Does the plot make sense?
*Is the structure sound? (Beginning, Middle, Ending)
*How are the POVs or POV? Is there a distinct, consistent voice?
*Any plot holes or motive unexplained?
*Is there too much summary? Are there places you can turn into actual scenes?
*Are the scenes in the right order? Should they be moved around?
*Does each scene/action move the story forward and contain some kind of conflict?
*Is the timeline consistent?
*Is there too much description in certain places? Is the description coming through the correct POV?
*Anything not make sense? Do you need to add any flashbacks to help it make sense?
*Can any characters be combined because they're too similar?
Sometimes it helps if you can read as if you're an editor. An editor would notice things like too much backstory, or characters with very little depth.
Jessica Morrell suggests printing out your manuscript in a different font than the one you wrote it in. This will help give you new eyes for the story you already know. Mistakes are much easier to pick up from a hard copy.
I haven't tried the different font, but it sounds like an awesome idea. I'm finding that with my most recent ms, Float, I've been through it at least six times with different beta readers. Everyone will find something different. And even though you may feel a sense of completion after the first round.... the big fact is of the matter is that you ain't done!
So how many times do you revise before calling it a finished ms and sending it out to the wolves? Any tricks of the trade that help you add in the heart and brains?
And yeah... that one's all mine up there. Gotta claim him. My sweet, destructive little kindergartner. :)