Writing is rewriting.
After finishing my first draft, I let it cool for about three weeks. Honestly I was just tired of the damn thing at that point, but around the third week of October I picked it up again. It was time to get back to work.
My Revision Plan
- Print and read. I printed out all 292 pages and took them to a local print shop for binding. Then I spent the next two days, reading and making notes.
- Outlining. This was a two-step process. First I created an outline based on the draft. Then I rewrote the outline, incorporating the changes I wanted to make. This meant shifting the order of scenes, deleting some scenes altogether, adding new scenes.
- Write the second draft. This is where I’m making all the structural changes – plot, character motivations and goals. I’m incorporating chunks of the first draft but I’m also adding new words. My first draft was 62,500 words and I’m about 17,000 into my second draft with a self-imposed deadline of 31 January 2019 (which is completely do-able if I write consistently Monday to Friday and ignore all social media…hahaha).
- Next steps
- Print and read and take even more notes.
- Write the third draft – focus on characterization and plot (Are the motivations clear? Does each character have a clear role in the story? Have all sub-plots been wrapped up? Are there any loose ends?
- Print and read (yes, again)
- Review with a specific focus on setting and dialogue.
- Send to beta readers and revise as necessary.
- Edit. The final polish where I strengthen sentences, review grammar and punctuation.
So that’s my plan in a nutshell. Revising the beginning of the novel is taking a bit of time because the heaviest changes are in the beginning. It’s heavy rewritting and already I know that I’m going to change the beginning of the novel. I’m actually contemplating starting the novel from Chapter Two, but that’s another blog post.
Can’t believe I’ve been blogging for almost a year!! Anyone else in the revision cave? Any editing tips?