If you’re following along, you’re going to want to make sure to do Part One of the revision process before you tackle this section. So after a week full of snow days and cabin fevered kids and husband (who was undoubtedly worse than the kids), it took me longer to get to phase two of my revision plan than I expected. But alas, I finished the next step. This is called the notecard phase. This is when you go through all the notes you made on your character/plot/setting pieces of paper and turn each one of those into a notecard with a corresponding chapter. Then I went through my edit letter from my agent and made individual notecards for her notes too. In the end, my table at Barnes & Noble looked like this and I had over a 100 cards: 80% of my notecards were plot related, but then I did have some that were character related as well, which brought on some character worksheets that I didn’t originally think I was going to do. I ended up creating in-depth bios with 3 minor characters that probably won’t make it into the story, but will absolutely affect the way I write them. I needed a better handle on their motivations and this is the best way to do that. I did it freehand and just sketched out their lives. It doesn’t have to be pretty, because it’s not going in the book. It’s just for you to get to know your character more. In doing this, one of my characters is changing a lot, which I like! Your notecards will be detailed and you’ll have several for each chapter, so just put them in chronological order. Or sometimes your notecard will just be you telling yourself this section sucks and you can do better: Then I got all my notecards and organized them and put them in a nifty little box because I’m awesome like that and get a weird pleasure out of seeing things in order. This urge for order is unfortunately compartmentalized just to the professional side of my life and does not lend itself to house cleaning, but wouldn’t it be awesome if it did? I would basically be a super hero. So that concludes the getting organized section of the revision process! Now on for Phase Three… the fun part when you get to actually start revising on the page! 🙂
So I decided to go ahead and start on the Contemporary I had plotted out. Great story, but more importantly, I was already loving my characters and their tragic childhoods.
I started writing, but the things is, it evolved into a mystery, which then changed the character motivations, which then completely changed the backgrounds, which then completely changed the characters, which means… TOTALLY starting over!
But this new story seems to be flowing easier. I just need to work more on my new characters because I still want to save “those” characters for this contemporary that I know I’ll write one day. But not today. Today shall be a mysterious mystery with some kissing. Because kissing is super important for mysteries.
Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!
And time to get started on drafting my new baby!