Posts Tagged ‘Revision’

It’s Progress

November 11, 2009

Last night was another progressive work session. I cut 1,000 words of useless content and then added double that fleshing out telling sections.

It’s not that I don’t EVER like to write in a telling format. Sometimes it’s useful, but most of the time it disconnects the reader from the story. I know that’s how I feel when I’m in the role of reader.

The scenes I focused on last night were battle scenes. When I reread them, the scenes felt more like a dictation or debriefing report. That is so not what I want the reader to feel. I want them to feel like they, themselves, are going through the battle. I want them to forget the main character is Nettie and start thinking [insert readers name here] is the main character.

Example:

…The bent metal cut into Nettie, causing pain

The last part of the sentence is telling, but the scene really calls for a connected experience. I needed to show how and what kind of pain Nettie felt. I want to make it obvious and real to the reader.

Solution (for me):

…The bent metal tore into Nettie’s arm. She winced, biting back a scream. Her eyes watered as the pain shot through her forearm and up to her shoulder. Warm blood pooled at the ripped flesh then ran off, dripping onto her flight suit…

When you’ve finished your draft and start the revision phase, take a look and see what you’re telling versus what you’re showing. Then ask yourself if it’s the right format for the scene. You might find the story more enriching when you’re done.

Good writing all!

Progress During Chaos

October 30, 2009

have been working on edits for Galileo and thinking about changing over to Sorcerer’s Carnival for a bit. My creativity is on the border of boredom. I guess I’ll never be one of those writers that works on projects one at a time.

With the holiday’s, school, and work, I’ve had little time to keep progress here and write.

Chapter 13 is coming along well. With the subplot and character changes outlined in earlier entries here, I’ve been busy making a lot of modifications. I’m hoping to have Chapter 13 completed by next Friday.

Then I have to decide, as mentioned above, whether to trek through to Chapter 14 or change over to Sorcerer’s Carnival for a bit. I guess my creative flow will veer in its own direction when I get there.

Good writing to all and I hope to bring a more thorough entry tomorrow or Sunday.

Progress Update

October 15, 2009

Galileo War is going well, finished the last two scenes I needed for the chapter. Now I just need to flesh out the transitions between them. Then it will be moving to the editing marathon phase.

I’ve been so focused on Galileo, once the characters and I started conversing again in my head, that I’ve neglected my short story Sorcerer’s Carnival. I need to find time to finish those revisions. The deadline is not until March, but I’d like to keep some breathing room for brain freezes and character tantrums.

Well, signing off for today…good writing to all my fellow writers out there.

Goldilock Syndrome

September 29, 2009

It must’ve been poetic karma that all this changing and major story revelations kicked off with lucky Chapter 13. I’m sure it’s there…somewhere.

Any-who.

Lot’s of rearranging done tonight. Chapter 13 started out at 6,549 words. For those of you who are familiar with my writing, this is way longer than any chapter I would do. After the replotting and overall enlightenment of the last few days Chapter 13 was cut down to 980 words. This, of course, is way to small for my chapter taste. Adding the fact that it was just a Hodge-Podge of remaining scenes I was really stressing about the Chapter.

So, tonight. I went back to the basics. Paper, pen, index cards. It’s the easiest way for me to focus and streamline my creative thoughts.

  • I separated each scene and laid it out on the coffee table
  • I took some index cards and put a plot point on each one, then lined them along the coffee table
  • I ordered my scenes along the plot, where they fit best
  • I then took a different color index and identified transitions and missing scenes to complete each plot point for the chapter

It was then I moved to the computer:

  • I put a bold plot outline 
  • I moved the scenes to their appropriate section
  • Then I entered highlighted text summarizing the needed scenes to add

Whoa’la…rough (very rough) draft of Chapter 13. From that point I’ve been busy fleshing out the missing scenes, and smoothing out transitions.

In summary: I ended up with Goldilock syndrome. The first version was way to cold, the second was way to hot, and the third? It is just right! (As a new draft, that is)

Replotting the Subplots

September 27, 2009

Subplot: a secondary or subordinate plot, as in a play, novel, or other literary work; underplot. (As defined by Dictionary.com)

Yesterday’s personal honey do list started with a review and revision of my subplots.

Okay…there is a main plotline the two sisters follows, where they push and trigger drivers in each other’s story. But for the most part, they have individual stories independent of each other. For the purpose of my sanity, I’m going to treat each one as their own plot with timed exchanged points that have to happen (Back to the Future comment anyone?).

Nettie: Her story had three main subplots. I cut one subplot out all together because is was unproductive and…well, retarded in retrospect (yes, I’ll admit it). Okay, one down. It was decided (through an internal conversation between me and the character) that the other two subplots must happen. I will be working out the other kinks mentioned in September 26th post to strengthen these two.

Annie: Her story had what seemed like fifty zillion subplots that were pointless and counterproductive to the story. I took a huge mental machete and chopped away all but three subplots. These three are vital to the storyline and Annie’s motivation in the last half of the story. They need major renovations, but at least I have them identified and ready to go.

Once I worked out both sister’s plot lines I adjusted the exchange points, eliminating one of them, and moved the climax to a better position. I also ended up cutting out several secondary characters. By doing this exercise, I also managed to strengthen the theme, reduce the repetition, and delete several implausible scenes.

Plot and subplots are now strategically laid out. Today will be all about revising, smoothing, and fleshing out what’s left.

I feel like a writing surgeon…

A Honest Look

September 26, 2009

Last night I finished up my Chapter 12 edits and decided it was time to pause and take a respective look at the plot. There has been many changes since the final editing phases started. It was at this point I realized that many parts of my stories have changed so much, I needed to once again revise the ending.

To ensure the plot is believable I need to do the following:

  • Revise a few of the subplots
  • Move the climax of the story
  • Modify two of the character’s motives (one MC and one secondary character)
  • Delete several implausible scenes
  • And change several settings

To strengthen my writing, I need to:

  • Ensure my narrative voice is consistent throughout, several areas have a severe change in tone
  • Strengthen the theme through stronger word selection
  • Reduce the repetition of activity, mix it up a bit
  • Realize my strengths and ensure it’s applied throughout (description, realistic dialogue, emotional connection)
  • Realize my weaknesses and overcome (transitions, internal dialogue)

It’s important to a writer to take stock of their writing often. This is the only way they can improve. I hope that an honest approach is the key to improving my own writing.  If you’re interested in some information/tips on revisions , here’s some links:

Creative Writing Fiction  (Writing Tips)

Revising Strategies for Fiction and Non-Fiction

Editing a Novel and Surviving the Rejection Slip

Chapter 12 Revisions Complete

September 25, 2009

Revisions are complete. The  draft held a lot of issues and it took several weeks to work out.  The finished product, though, is wonderfully true to my vision. It’s interesting and inline with the moments Nettie, her crew, and her family face.

The drama was high but without seeming forced. The battle scenes are now accurate, tight, and action-packed. I almost made the mistake of having Nettie black out, but decided she should stay conscious for the aftermath of the hit. This gave an added touch of Kaitlin-ism, always my favorite scenes to write.

Next step: Editing and prepping for critique group submission. Then onto Chapter 13.