Saturday, September 20, 2008

Revisions

I've been waiting for my turn in the blog chain before I posted again, but it looks like it's going to be a few more days. I'm relieved, actually, because I have nothing of value to add--yet. I keep thinking that something awesome is going to hit me. Hopefully, it will be something about writing, and not something like, I don't know, a car or a bus or something. We'll see.

So I've been thinking a lot this week. More than my usual quota of deep thoughts. :D It's time to revise ye olde manuscript again. Just when you think you've got something good, you realize you really don't. I received a great suggestion this week, something I knew needed addressing, but didn't quite know how to address.

Thus, the thinking. I couldn't work on the revisions, because I didn't know how. So I thought and thought and thought about how I could make the revisions without rewriting everything. I can't. Part of the story is going to be lost, well, at least lost to the reader. Of course, I have the original on my computer. But after all the driving and thinking, eating and thinking, making dinner and thinking, I finally concluded that the suggested revisions are A) necessary, B) worthwhile, and C) an incredible amount of work.

So I rolled up my sleeves and tackled the project. The first thing I did was make a spreadsheet where I could write in word counts, POV, and a snippet of the plot for each chapter. I methodically went through the manuscript filling out the sheet with title chapters (yes, they change and I don't fix it), word count for each chapter, each point of view character, and the plot and sub-plots. I could immediately see why the revisions were suggested. I could see places to cut, things that weren't necessary. But I still didn't know how to do what needed to be done.

Several hours of stewage later, I decided that the only way to make the manuscript better was to rip it apart and attempt to put it back together again. And it hurt. A lot. I started yesterday and each scene gets copied and pasted into a new document. Analyzed. More thinking. Stewage over a grape soda or a popsicle, depending on my mood. Then some rewriting. Major rewriting.

I made it to chapter three. Whew, only thirty-three more to go. If I can keep up the pace, this should only take me eleven days...yeah, right. It took me five just to get started, so I'm sure it will be a lot longer than that. Hopefully, every minute will be worth it in the end.

Reading: SABRIEL by Garth Nix.

2 comments:

Carrie Harris said...

It takes a lot of guts to gut your stuff. (Snarf.) But seriously, it does. Hope it's going well.

I hope you love Sabriel as much as I did. I devoured the entire series in a couple of weeks.

ElanaJ said...

Guts to gut your stuff! LOL. And I love snarf, I might start using that too. It goes great with my dominoes and my crickets.

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