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.