Author Natalie Whipple recently blogged about Stages of Revision. Her Stage 1 centers on plot revisions, when she asks herself, “Is that the best way for this story to unfold?” She has a detailed list of other important questions, so check it out! I’m currently on my second draft, but these revision questions can be answered during your later drafts as well. It all depends on how you approach your edits.
Celebrate Winter’s Editing & Revising Extravaganza by sharing your accomplishments, thoughts, and ideas! My WERE accomplishments for this week:
1. Storyboarding my chapters. I listed all the scenes and the word counts for each chapter. I also blocked off my three acts. Now I have a better idea of which chapters need cut down, which need added to, and where I need to work on pacing.
2. Creating a timeline for my story. I’m using an extra 2010 calendar to map out the events and make the time-flow realistic. I realized that I’m a week off at one point in my story; it’s supposed to span five weeks, and I wrote it as only four weeks. I also noticed I should refer to the days more often so I can anchor the story.
3. Fixing my backstory. In the first draft, I introduced the tidbits of backstory rather awkwardly. Then I got an idea for how to improve it while reading WHEN YOU REACH ME (that’s why reading is the most important thing a writer can do. It’s not plagiarism—it’s inspiration). I cut my ten excerpts and pasted them into appropriate places. Now it makes more sense, and it even helped me with one of my plot holes.
4. Starting a list of things I need to fix throughout the novel. Slightly daunted by the growing size of the list! But I’m also excited, because I know these ideas will make the story better.
5. Updating my novel’s playlist. Yes, this was crucial. LOL.
I challenge you to try any or all of the above methods, if you haven’t already. Let me know if you have any questions!