I’ve taken a lengthy break from writing… part of it was self-imposed distance that I felt like I needed for perspective… another huge part was I just moved back from Europe and that was a bit ca-razy.
But now that I’m reading back over what I wrote, I’m realizing that the first few chapters are just crap. I like the way the book evolves, but especially that first chapter just needs a hell of a lot of work!
I found some great resources for revising. One is this cool article on the NaNoWriMo blog called 7 Steps to a Big Picture Revision. The other is Second Sight by Cheryl B. Klein.
It’s a little overwhelming, especially since I’m not really sure exactly how to get that first chapter where I want it to be… but I guess that is part of the journey I am on.
So here’s to re-writing
…. and happy re-revising to me!
I’ve been living and breathing the revision process for the last few weeks and it’s been a whole new experience.
It’s one thing to be able to set word count goals and knock them out day by day, but to sit down and begin shading in a book – chapter by chapter – is a lot harder than it seems.
People have told me and that has been the thing I have been focusing on.
This weekend I have tackled the first six chapters. I have some revision notes from my CP, which have helped tremendously and now I’m just trying to clean up the dialogue and make sure things sound right – as well as fleshing out the setting and the characters. I just have a few more sections to re-write and then I want to send it over to my CP for her to take a look at this chunk in its entirety.
The cool thing about revising is watching the shading happen before my eyes. For example:
- Draft #0.5 (which was really a glorified outline) had the first section at 3 chapters and it was around 4,000 words.
- Draft #1 had it at 7 chapters and was about 8,500 words.
- Draft #2 has it at 6 chapters and about 13,000 words.
See, it’s so fun how it’s evolving! Have I mentioned I love writing? 🙂
I’ve also decided to never fully delete anything. I just copy it and paste it into a file called – deleted sections. I know, super amazing revising advice right there. Take note. 🙂
Through all of this, I am for sure identifying with the saying, writing is re-writing!
The hardest part right now is thinking and talking about something else other than my 2 year old’s bathroom routine (he’s potty training) and my book. I’ve definitely been alienating people lately, but I guess that’s the life of a writer in the thick of it.
So I am starting on revisions of my YA thriller and I’ve been having some trouble trying to get into a rhythm. I am a part of an awesome YA Writers Reddit and I posed the question of how people tackle revisions and I got so many great responses! Here is the thread I started if you’re interested. I love this Reddit because it’s such an eclectic mix of publishing professionals, published writers and those in the process of writing their first novel and everyone writes YA.
So my CP Ashley and I have been exchanging a few chapters at a time and helping each other out. Actually, I really should be working on my stuff to send to her instead of writing this blog, but oh well! 🙂
Then to complicate my life to the extreme, I’ve started a new project. It’s a young MG novel about a 9 year old girl who meets a time traveling horse who has been sent back to help her set things back in place.
A new book AND revisions? It sort of makes me go:
But then I am finding that it is actually inspiring me as well. When I get stuck on revisions, I flip over to my MG book and vice versa. I’ve completed a detailed outline and the first three chapters, so it’s moving right along.
I guess the old mantra is true