Friday, September 10, 2010

Looking back at this revision process

Tip of the day: To print out your manuscript so it looks like a book (and saves on paper), go to Format, Columns, then select two. After that, change the set-up of your page to landscape and your line spacing to single spacing. I find reading the book this way helps me read it differently and I often find things I want to change I didn't see before.

I am happy to report my revisions are finished!

This book required some big changes. Lots of scenes had to be deleted and new ones put in their place. I was really nervous going into it, because I liked what I had and I worried I was going to ruin the book.

I think this is often what we fear when we go in and make changes. What if we make the thing worse, not better?

What really helped me was to draw out on a piece of paper 24 boxes, with each box representing a chapter. The chapters that didn't change, I wrote in what their purpose was (develop the plot, develop the characters, or both) and the big thing that happened in that chapter. Then, with the boxes where things were going to change, I wrote in pencil what I needed to have happen, and ideas around the scene(s) that would get me there.

One character became a lot more present during this revision. My editor liked him and said - more, please! Okay then. More. But if he was going to be a bigger character, I realized I needed to figure out what he wanted. Every character wants something, not just the main character. And I love it when characters' desires compliment each other or contradict each other. In this case, what he wanted came sort of organically, as I played around with a scene, but it ended up working really well, and tied in nicely with my main character's desire. I hope it works, anyway. We'll see what my editor has to say.

Anyway, each time I revise, I learn something. And the more times I do this, the more I realize that it's during revision when the real book is really written.

So yay, I'm done! Now I get to clean the house. Although there's that new idea I've been pondering...

~Lisa, Miss Crafting a Career


Kate Fall said...

Congrats, Lisa! And your tip of the day is so intriguing, too.

I've done some revision like this with spreadsheets (1 row per scene). I write out what the scene should accomplish, and highlight the box on the spreadsheet if I don't think I managed to accomplish it.

DeenaML said...

Lisa, is this the chocolate book? Yay on revision completion!