Monday, July 27, 2015

How to Revise a Novel--Step 2

Last time, in Step 1, I took you through the process of shrinking down a novel and looking at it in three acts.

I had mixed feelings about this because I already felt I had a good idea that my draft disintegrated into a hodge-podge of random scenes in the third act. This was solidly upheld in the shrunken three-act process. It was useful in some ways, but I wanted it to be more useful.

I wanted an epiphany.
I wanted a miracle.
I wanted the secret to fixing a novel.

Logically, I know there isn't a magic pill that will solve my novel's problems, but it doesn't stop me from searching. I want to know something I don't already know.

So this is the next thing I did with my shrunken novel.
Okay. I didn't shrink it this small.   Image: "The Worlds Smallest Dictionary" (CC BY-NC 2.0) by practicalowl

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

7 Reasons to Learn to Love Revising

I meet lots of writers who say they hate revising. Others have told me they just write a draft and give it to an editor. Done.

I don't understand. Revising is writing. Therefore, if you love writing, you also love revising. Yes, it's a complex and difficult love, but it's just that which brings the greatest reward.
Love takes care. Image "banksy - peaceful hearts doctor - 3" (CC BY 2.0) by Eva Blue
And because I don't want you to miss out on this amazing love, I think we should talk about the reasons a writer needs to buckle down and commit his heart and soul to revising his novel.

Monday, July 6, 2015

How to Revise a Novel—Step 1

If you're anything like me, your first draft is a giant mess.
Chapters? Who needs chapters? No. I don't have chapters yet. Image: "Adventures of Captain Greenland (table o" (CC BY 2.0) by earlynovelsdatabase
Before I began the revision process in mid-June, I knew I had out-of-order scenes. I didn't even have chapters. I knew that, as I pushed characters through a plot, they changed. No amount of planning prepared me for how my characters changedeven though I go through various revisions of character building and multiple character exercises throughout the process of writing so that I can understand them better. I just don't know what will come up. I knew my plot got messy and I became disjointed as a writer near the end. I knew I was not even close to committed to the end; it was mechanical, to get there and say, This draft is done.

I knew there were so many issues... so so many.