Monday, May 11, 2015

Gearing Up to Tackle Revisions

I'm plugging away on my draft (whenever I can!), and now I'm starting to think about the major revisions looming in my future. I have "to fix" and "to add" documents that I've been keeping up as I draft, but the sheer number of items on each is daunting.

What I need is a revision plan. Luckily for me, there are lots of great resources to help me get organized. One of the absolute best I've ever seen is Susan Dennard's Tackling Revisions post on the Pub(lishing) Crawl blog. She suggests isolating the big-picture issues first, then breaking each one into a series of manageable chunks. One of my favorite pieces of advice from this post is to do an outline of your story after you finish the first draft, and before you revise. This will show you pretty quickly which scenes add to the story and which need to be cut.

(Side note: that Susan Dennard's pretty smart. She's also the author of the How to Write a 1-Page Synopsis worksheet, the only one I've found that actually makes short synopsis writing bearable.)

Marissa Meyer (author of the Lunar Chronicles series) explains her revision process here. She's also a fan of writing out all of your scenes to see which ones are working and which ones aren't. She adds the advice to color-code all of the main plots and subplots. I love this advice! It seems like an excellent way to see at a glance which plots need more airtime and which are taking up too much space.

And finally, former agent-turned-author Nathan Bransford has some encouraging words for the inevitable revision fatigue--you know, that moment when you're so sick of the book that you never want to see it again. Having gotten to this point with all four manuscripts I've finished, I'm keeping that one in my back pocket. The comments are definitely worth a read, too.

How do you tackle revisions?

No comments:

Post a Comment