Writing is a constant challenge ‘to get it right.’
In keeping with my first blog on revision I have to add to my revision:
- Polish, polish, polish. Keep looking for words or phrases that could be condensed and take out all offenders, the unnecessary words. Remember the reader doesn’t want to hear flourishing descriptions when a few words will keep the pages turning.
- Tie up any loose ends you can find. Recognize a good stopping place for the book. Sure, everyone wants to see what happens next, but don’t go too far. Know when to stop.
I’m almost ready to start my revision. I have read the entire manuscript and already know some of the changes I will make. The others are still a mystery but I hope they will make the story run more smoothly when I finally decide on them. I have begun to do more research and will definitely say that research has come a long way, making it much easier than ‘back in the day.’ At this point I realize I may have to add a few more chapters. The challenge grows
Five more blogs to countdown.
Learn from your mistakes. Make the necessary corrections and MOVE ON.
Here are a few points to look for when you begin a revision of anything you have written, especially a novel.
- When you think you’ve finished the novel, take a breath and let it sit on the shelf or in the computer for a while.
- When you finally get back to it , try to view it with a fresh approach, keeping an emotional distance to the characters you’ve grown to love or hate.
- Be as objective as possible.
- Make notes on points to correct or research to better illustrate your objective in having written these ‘yellowed’ pages.
- Analyze your reactions to scenes or characters, to sentences or paragraphs that don’t ring true.
You will have a sense of accomplishment, and will also have learned something about yourself. You have completed a manuscript. It’s not a book yet but it is on it’s way.
You have conquered the blank pages or computer screens. You have unleashed the sleeping creative genie. It is a great feeling.
All these points have been clear when I was teaching a writing class years ago to a senior writing group, and they were certainly pertinent as I began a revision today of a manuscript written about twenty years ago
The first few chapters I read needed only typo and word changes, but I was basically in agreement for what I had written back then….and then came a jolt I hadn’t been expecting. The next chapter needed a complete revision. I didn’t like where I had taken one of my main characters. It hit me like a ton of proverbial bricks. I knew that to forge ahead would present me with even more problems.
BUT THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT. We need revision to keep us from ourselves! My countdown is probably not long enough time to do all this! Who knows how much of this ‘saved’ manuscript will need more than a simple revision, even in the beginning.
I will keep you informed. Six more Blogs of countdown!!