Finding the Words

a blog devoted to the art, craft, and frustration of writing

ugh… so this is revising… April 26, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — itsy @ 9:48 am

Okay, this is much hard than I thought it would be. I’m faced with my huge stack of paper. I started making edit notes then sort of gave up. There was too much of that. I’m no where near the point of language refining, which might actually be fun. I’m somewhere stuck in the land of, okay, this character doesn’t make any sense, or wow, this part is boring, really boring. In other word, there’s a lot I have to reimagine and rewrite.

Which makes me resolve to try outlining my next novel more thoroughly. Another massively important point: get intimate with your characters before you start outlining, even! This will help prevent your characters going off and doing their own thing which, though cool, leads to a great deal of headache later. Its worth investing the weeks/ months it takes to write out character sheets for each of your main characters, figuring out who they are, why the are, and what they are likely to do. Throw them into a situation, and the plot sort of takes care of itself. Funny, this is a summary of the advice I’ve read in how-to-write books, but it never quite struck a chord with me. Now I feel like it’s slammed me upside the head and I think, Oh, well, duh!

So here’s my plan of attack: read the manuscript, make large scale notes on what works, what doesn’t work. I’ve done some world and character building- I need to do more of that. Then sit down, block out the scenes I want to keep, and start brainstorming new scenes. We’ll try ye olde index card method next, writing out the scenes on the cards and moving them around.

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2 Responses to “ugh… so this is revising…”

  1. elizabeth Says:

    Revising is so hard! But it sounds like you have a good handle on the different stages of doing it, i.e. language refining vs. revisiting scenes and characters on a larger scale. I have trouble with that. I tend to think language-polishing is enough, but of course it is not. I like your plan of attack! Good luck.

  2. itsy Says:

    Thanks! In fact, I used your idea and took my book out to coffee. The change of scenery really helps, I think. Your perseverance with your project is also inspiring!


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