Writing

Rewriting like a fiend!

So, in an update, my last methods for improving my success rewriting seem to have worked. I beat the wall – actually, I discovered that I just needed to back up, and there was no wall. Therefore, I’m trying to fly through rewrites, and have very little additional time for anything else (there’s also that whole Christmas thing coming up, and since I make most of my gifts, I’m swamped.)

Consequently, a short post today.

I wanted to actually pose a question and share: what makes your rewrites go well? How to you avoid hitting the wall / stalling out, or what do you do when it happens anyway?

For me, this rewrite I’ve done 5 different things:

  1. I have a revision plan (took notes, have a map of the document as it stood, and how it needs to be – mostly chapter by chapter summaries with red-pen scribbled all over them for my planned suggestions).
  2. I’ve found critique partners. Having someone who’s waiting for new chapters all the time helps me keep moving, even (and especially) when I don’t want to.
  3. When I hit the wall, or things stall, I back up and delete what wasn’t working. In most cases, it’s usually a chapter / scene preceding where I ran into trouble that things went wrong, and when I redo that, things loosen up and I can write again.
  4. Have a deadline. Self-imposed or otherwise, this keeps you pushing hard – and will get you onto something else sooner.
  5. Have patience for my method. I understand that like when I’m writing earlier drafts, I often have full steam for the first 1/4, start getting lost around the midpoint, and then gather steam again near the end. My writing and my methods reflect this, so I need to have some acceptance and understanding of this – as well as a plan for how I’ll overcome.

Okay, so speaking of those rewrites? Have to get back to them. What about you? What’s working for you? What’s not?

Thanks for reading. Have a great week, and happy writing.

The Journey to Publication, Writing

See the Light at the End of the Tunnel: My Method of Revision (part 2)

Hey there! So last week I shared the first 5 steps I used in this latest revision – which is going really well, considering the mess the manuscript was / is in. Here are the final 5 of my steps. Hope they’re helpful! 🙂

  1. Identify the various plot threads. Are your chapters working hard enough for you? Do you touch on more than one plot point per chapter? If not, why not? If so, is it working? Are certain plots getting neglected for long periods of time? For example, I labeled mine as “A,B,C,D”, and then marked the chapter with what plots each chapter touched on; I discovered that I neglected one of the plots for nearly a quarter of the book! This was an easy way to see some pacing issues.
  2. Analyze your protagonist(s) and the degree of change they make from the beginning of the book to the resolution. Is the character arch significant? Is there real change, or have they been cheating?
  3. Generally scribble all over your chapter notes as you make your revision road-map. This is where thoughts, concerns, ideas can be inserted – and also is why I prefer a printed version. Consider circling scenes that are up for elimination, or which may duplicate other ones, making them redundant: reference your impressions notes from your read through of the manuscript.
  4. Get everything into the correct order, and read through chapter notes again. Ensure it’s tighter, stronger, that it’s better delivering your message. This may include the possibility of new scenes – missing scenes – and which need to be strengthened. Once you have everything in neat order, you can put down the pen, although don’t be afraid to pick it up again if something occurs to you.
  5. Clutch your chapter notes – now fully scribbled on – and your impressions from your read through, and get ready to work. Now you can start your revision, using these two new materials to help guide you. Obviously be open to new ideas, to the excitement of creativity, but at least if you lack that some days, you have these guides to help you through.

Well, this process seemed to help me. Maybe it will help you too. Oh, and when you’re done and think it’s ready to submit … here’s a page on that final polish which you might want to consider too (either that, or use it simultaneously with your rewrites.) The Spit Shine.

Do you have other revision methods? Willing to offer suggestions or share what works for you? Please comment below.

Thanks for reading, and have a great week! Good luck with those revisions.