Thursday, April 8, 2010

In Which I Revise Some More

So revisions for Foxfire seem to be going steady. Not that I've done much "revising" per se (not counting the few scenes I've added). But the preparing for the revisions is going steady.

I've come up with a better conflict and purpose for the antagonist, which was literally non-existent in the first draft (me and my passive characters). That will really make things tighten up nicely, I believe.

Here's a pic of what I'm doing right now.

I've taken each scene and posted them on one of my notebook pages. I title the page with the chapter and scene # (Chp 4.1 etc) and then I read through the scene. Anything I come across that needs fixing, I write it on the page next to the scene post it. My thoughts are that I can then highlight each piece of editing I've completed for each scene as I go.

Also this way I can do editing scene by scene instead of trying to do it ONE WHOLE NOVEL AT A TIME... no thanks. Not for me.

All the scenes have a repeating list of revision bits which include (but are not limited to) things such as: Line Edits, First and last scene sentence revision, POV check, SDT check, Conflict, Action etc.

I'm really really interested in how everyone else goes about editing and revising whole novels. Which is, of course, why I keep posting about my own process. Because I figure if I'm curious, surely others are as well.

Anyone else written blog posts regarding their specific revision processes?


JustineDell said...

Ha, besides just talking about how much I hate it? ;-)

And, is that a red gel pen?!?! That is a must have for me when I am writing stuff down!


Piedmont Writer said...

You must be a super hero in your other life Sarah. I can't imagine doing all that work.

For revisions I start at the beginning and work my way slowly through the whole novel. Second time around I go through it backwards. Then I do line edits. Ugh!

Although I don't know which one of us is doing more work, which one is quicker, which one is easier.

Matthew Rush said...

I've just started doing something similar, only using a spreadsheet.

I've been through the novel slowly page by page probably 7 times, but that can only accomplish so much.

Palindrome said...

First, I give it to the two people in my writing group and have them shred it to pieces. Then I promptly go home and cry. Then burn that copy in effigy and start something new. Rinse and Repeat.

Palindrome said...

You know how much I hate editing. I don't think I've mastered a process yet. I like to handwrite my first copy. Then when I'm typing that up I'm edit and revising. I print out a copy and do a read through and edit again. Then I go back to the computer and retype. This is only when it's a novel piece, mind you. For shorts and prompts, I don't put as much effort into the beginnings and I usually just type something up really fast and it shows! Ha!

I'm afraid that once I have a full and editable novel that I'll have to change EVERYTHING. And that makes me drag my feet at finishing. But I know once I do finish, it'll feel wonderful. Delayed gratification much?

Joan Crawford said...

I am really impressed with this, Falen! Not only because I like colors but because you are so diligent and organized :) Looking forward to Ms.Yvie's post tomorrow!

I found a little pic on Etsy of a french bulldog with "Bitch, please" underneath it. Love it!

Falen said...

Justine - it IS a red pen and it is awesome! Unfortunately it is almost out of ink so i will have to switch to a new color. methinks orange or pink

Piedmont - i plan on doing a few line by line read throughs and i also do a backwards readthrough as well. But before i started that, i wanted to make a "to do" list so to speak

Mathew - yeah i wanted to do this stuff before i begin the line by line edits because you're right, that only gets you so far

Palindrome - MWUAHAHAH!
Yeah that's why i keep posting these topics because a whole novel edit, a serious edit, is completely different than what i've done in the past with shorts and novellas

Christi Goddard said...

I don't think I've ever blogged about my MS, other than the fact I'm querying it. I don't think I say much about my new WIP, either. I can't write about my 'process' because I don't have one. There's no real plotting and outlining. Most of it's in my head. An occasional idea jotted on a post-it-note, but that's it.

Falen said...

Joan - LOL bitch please is awesome!
Yeah i think pretty colors make everything more tolerable. I think if i wasn't this organized, i'd probablu just go crazy and get nowhere

Summer said...

For starters, I'm just reading through what I already have, copy-pasting salvageable material into a new document, then writing in the new bits or bridging bits, etc.

After that (for my short stories, anyway), I print it out and read it on paper. The computer screen hides all kinds of typos. I have a pen in hand, and make all my weird editing marks on the page. Then I head back to the computer, and if I have someone else's critique, I'll open it up, then go line by line between mine and theirs, changing what needs to be changed, etc.

I dunno. Still fairly new at the revising game.

sarahjayne smythe said...

It all looks so nice and pretty and organized. I'm in awe. My stuff is shoved in everywhere, even places I'm now afraid to go. :)

Southpaw said...

I love to read about how you process. I'm thinking my first revison

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm certainly not as detailed or organized as you! I didn't move many things in my first manuscript - it was more of a seek & destroy.

Teebore said...

Oy, your organization makes my head hurt. And shames me.

I guess I don't have a formal process. I read through it after I finish it (making line edits as I go, because I can't help it, but not really looking to line edit) and take some notes (usually just on the manuscript itself) on stuff I want to change, scenes I want to add, etc.

At the same time I have other people read it, and incorporate their notes regarding what else it needs or what wasn't clear or what needs to change into mine.

Then I sit down at the computer and go through the manuscript again, changing the line edits I caught during my last read through and incorporating the changes suggested by the notes made by me and my beta readers.

Wash, rinse, and repeat, I suppose, until I'm at point where the STORY is good enough, and I'm just concerned with line edits. Then I go through it again with a (metaphorical, not actually) red pen, intentionally line editing it this time, and have certain beta reads with a better eye for such things >cough< you >cough< do the same. Then incorporate those changes (as well as the additional story changes I've inevitably decided on making now too).

DL Hammons said...

Also this way I can do editing scene by scene instead of trying to do it ONE WHOLE NOVEL AT A TIME... no thanks. Not for me. it the easy way. Where's the challenge in that? :)

Talli Roland said...

I like the pretty pink post-it note! I'm very impressed with your methodical revision methods. Although I worry that you don't find line-editing boring! :)

Falen said...

Christi -oooh i'm totes jealous that you're at the querying stage. TOTES JEALOUS

Summer - having to write in new bits would drive me crazy. I hate having to add scenes. I want it to be done when i write "The End"

Sarahjayne - i don't even consider this that organized, but maybe i'm a bit in the dark of how everyone else organizes.

Southpaw - glad i could be of assistance! I almost squee with excitement whenever anyone else blogs about their revision processes.

Alex - i try to avoid moving or adding anything as much as possible since i hate that. I try to make my first draft as complete as possible

Teebore - interesting. Also, i too, can't not make little line edits here or there, correct typos, highlight large areas of telling etc, even though i know i'm supposed to do that later...

DL - HAH! seriously though, i'd probably give up on the whole WIP if i wasn't allowed to break it down

Talli - but they're so fun! They're things you can for sure fix, miniscule little things that make the whole so much better! What's not to like? ;)

Lola Sharp said...

OMG! *bows down* Salami, pastrami, bolgna *still bowing, arms outstretched*...I am not worthy.

Holy ORGANIZED Batman! I think my brain just exploded all over my laptop. Dude, you are hardcore.

I have posted how I do my revisions. But it is more like those above.
Wowza. My mind is still blown. I may never recover from your greatness and my lameness.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Nope, still plundering through draft one! But I love hearing your methods -- great pic!!!

Best of luck with revisions :)

Barbara Ann Wright said...

Red pens scare me. They make me think my manuscript is somehow in trouble.

I love editing with notecards, pinning notes for each scene to a corkboard. I can see them all at a glance and see what it looks like if I move scenes around or take them out altogether. Doing that, I realized that one of my projects was actually two different stories that would never mesh well!

Jemi Fraser said...

I love hearing how other writers approach things too. :)

I don't do anything on paper. Ever. I tend to attack the ms with one purpose at a time: flow, repetition, dialogue tags, excess words... Works more easily for me that way.

AchingHope said...

I have to day I love your Editing posts. They have so inspired me. Yesterday I went through and just wrote down what happens in each scene highlighting everywhere with PRETTY COLORS, it was actually pretty fun. I found some issues and I'm actually excited to go back and fix them all up.

I haven't written any posts about editing yet, 'cause I'm still new at it, but I think I will.

VW: manca, a manga about a man who can't stop cawing, the magnificent MANCA!

Elana Johnson said...

Okay, just that picture has me in hives. You're so organized!! My word. I get an idea for what to fix / how to fix something, usually in place I can't write. Like bed, the shower, or while driving.

So I grab whatever is available (receipts, notebooks, cut and colored papers from my daughter's daycare) and scribble the idea down.

Then I have to decipher the notes. It's painful.

Al said...

For a start I do it all on a computer.
I can't imagine writing anything with a pen any more.
Even if I scribble a note it is on a computer.

Falen said...

Lola - LMAO! I think if i tried to be less organized (and i'm still not convinced this is "organized" per se, just pretty) i would just give up

Nicole - plunder away!

Barbara - i like the red pens, because when i mark up my manuscript, then i can see all the red ink and SEE that i've actually moved forward. I don't want to hide the errors, i want to embrace them as one more step on the journey

Jemi - i have to do things on paper. I spend way too much time in front of a computer with my day job

Aching - i'm a firm believer that pretty colors make everything better and easier. And i'm glad you're inspired. I read a post by another blogger where she discussed her revision methods and it sent me into crazy inspiration mode. so i know how that is

Elana - oh my handwriting is terrible. Almost illegible. Luckily my memory is fantastic so even if i can read just one word of a sentance it will remind me of what i've written. Also because of my memory i can usually wait to write things down until i'm in a better spot (ie, usuing my journal or whatever)

Al - the idea of doing any sort of revision on the computer freaks me out. When i read stuff on a screen, i miss the majority of errors. I just don't see the typos or revision prospects

A.B. Fenner said...

I've got a few posts on my blog about how I edit, most of them seconding what everyone here has said: print it out, read it on the computer, spreadsheets, etc.

One of the most interesting and unconventional techniques I've seen is called the Shrunken Manuscript.

It's harder for us, as fantasy writers, to get a 150,000 (or more -- yipes!) word behemoth down to a manageable number of pages to do the method, but I figure if I get 50 I'm doing well.

I'm shrinking my manuscript this weekend, and it will hopefully help me resolve any issues with pacing and POV.

Laura Marcella said...

Oh my gosh, and I thought I was organized! I don't even have a specific revision process. I print it out and just do it. I use colored pens and highlighters to mark up my pages; I assign the colors something specific like purple for plot, orange for characters, green for grammar, etc. I suppose that's a revision process. I love anything that is super organized and I'm so going to try your method! Thanks for sharing, Sarah!

Falen said...

A.B. - oooh thanks! i'll have to chech that out. also your blog

Laura - i don't even consider myself all that organized, but i, also, thoguth about assigning differnet colors to different tasks. But then i started to use up most my pens so i'll probably just go with the flow. But in the future, i'm totes going to use different colors for different revisions

Sheila said...

Well, since you asked, I actually have blogged about editing recently:


You sound way more organized than I am, though...

Falen said...

Sheila - YAY! I'm going to check those out!

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