March 19, 2013
Well, I’m on my way. This week, I have started my second Holly Lisle novel revision. This time, I’m editing my 2010 modern paranormal romance/adventure manuscript, “The Angel’s Charlie.” And I’m looking forward to the revision process… mostly. I know that it’ll take a lot of time and effort, but I’m excited at the prospect of turning a first draft that I love into a much better story.
Right now I’m nearly two thirds of the way through the first read-through of my current draft, filling out the worksheet that Holly named ‘Despair’. (Possibly with a bit of tongue in cheek.)
For me, the process has been a little harsh and grueling, and I can’t keep at it for that long without taking a break. As you read, you make notes on where your book falls into five different categories; places where the story falls apart, character elements that add to the story or detract from them, world detail that either works well or doesn’t, places where you catch yourself skimming as you read, and places where the story is really what you hoped it could be. And it’s fun to dream just a little, as I work, of the places my book could go if it turns out to be that good all the way through when it grows up. 🙂
December 8, 2012
Okay, I finally got started on my modified revision process for ‘The Storm Mirror’ this morning, and I think it’s working out pretty well so far. I’ve finished the lesson 1 exercises, more or less – I didn’t want to go through the Despair worksheet the same way, so instead I just took my printed pages and marked them with highlights in different colors to represent the different parts of Despair – Green for the ‘Keeper stuff’ that I really like, Orange for broken elements that need to get cut or fixed, blue for worldbuilding issues, and purple for character issues.
I decided to either mark character/worldbuilding positives in green or ignore them, because I didn’t have enough extra colors to keep them all straight, and using the same colors for positive and negative elements seemed like a recipe for trouble when I wasn’t doing the full worksheet. Yellow was supposed to be the ‘So boring I skip over it’ color, but I’m pleased that I didn’t need to use that once. 😉
I also did the third target worksheet for Lesson 1, where you imagine your ideal story and put your finger on the three biggest changes you need to make – they lined up rather neatly ind the end, middle, and beginning of the story respectively (but they’re not the WHOLE end, middle, or beginning.)
I’ve decided that for reasons of time I’m going to pick and choose which lessons I’m doing with Storm Mirror, so lesson 2 is a skip – I’m happy with the characters, don’t think I need to do much work with them. Step 3 is the scene inventory, and hopefully I can get some more work done on that this evening before I turn in.
December 8, 2011
So, the first read-through of “Children” is going pretty well. I’m up to page 78 out of 123, and hoping to finish the Despair worksheet tomorrow night at Starbucks Runnymede in Toronto!
This is the biggest part of the first lesson, mostly because it involves the full manuscript read-through. The idea is that you look for five different things as you read:
- Ideas that didn’t work well or fell apart as you were writing them.
- Characters that work for the book, or don’t.
- Elements of the setting that work well, or poorly.
- Places where you find yourself skimming as you read.
- Places where the story is working and you enjoy it as you read.
So for each of those spots, I write down a little code in hot pink pen in the margin of the page, and make a note in my excel spreadsheet. The code indicates that it’s worksheet 1B, with another letter a through e for each of those five cases, and a numeric suffix to indicate the spreadsheet line.
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