Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Writing Wednesday

Once again I find myself revising things I've already written. Sometimes it feels as if all I do is revise things I've already written. And I know some of you know the absolute truth of that.

The revisions I'm working on now are actually big picture kind of revisions and I'm going through chapter by chapter to see if all of the scenes actually move the plot forward or if they are just happy little place holder scenes - showing what "happened then". I find I write a lot of that kind of scene. I know in my time line that it is Thanksgiving or Christmas and I feel that I must write in detail about that event. But if nothing that happens during that event actually moves the story forward, then it is just kind of boring reading.

Since I'd rather my story not be boring I have to make sure that each scene either has a reason for being there. Or else it has to go.

So that's what I'm doing today.

How do you revise?


PJ Hoover said...

I send it to my awesome critique group.
Ok, but also I go through it ad nauseum a gazillion times, then check my list to see what I've missed, then go through it again. Then try to fill in more items from the list I keep of things to improve.
And now I'm going to bed!

beth said...

I, too, love the power of the crit group. I have a hard time seeing what needs work in my own ms., so when my crit group points it out, it's like a revelation to me that I can then work on.

I tend to go through it several times looking for specific things. I'm currently revising to make the main character's underlying motivations and desires shine through. It's simple--add a few sentences here and there of her thoughts, mostly (it's backstory, not a major development)...but as I do, I also pick up on other things and improve them as I go.

After this, I'm going to go through and make sure I've got enough clues about the bad guy. And then I'll go through and foreshadow the victim's twist. And then...I don't know. I feel as if I am nearing the end. So I think once I do that, I'm going to ask for beta readers to help me point out anything else I've missed. My crit group has seen it so often, I may have to try to get a whole new group of volunteers to help me read the revised version.

keri mikulski :) said...

Same thing.. Write the first draft - I usually revise as I go for a while, until I really get into the story.. Then, I just go until I'm done the first draft. After the initial write, I go back and cut what doesn't move the story forward and revise the rest. Good luck. Cutting sucks.