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September 29, 2010

Prepare to revise...

I remember reading some great advice on this a couple of years ago on author Nalini Singh's website. At the time I was nowhere near having a completed manuscript, but of course I spent countless hours trawling writing how-to websites and reading the writing tips on author websites hoping for insight into things I wasn't vaguely ready for yet. Sound familiar?

Anyway,  fast forward to the present, and I'm actually in the position of needing to revise my manuscript. Not, sadly, at the request of a publisher who has just bought my book. (Fingers still crossed on that front). But at the request of my agent.

I've now had the chance to road-test Nalini's suggestions, and they've worked pretty well for me.

Basically, she suggests that you start with the easy stuff and work your way through to the hard. Having analysed the revisions I need to do, if I'm honest, I have to admit they all fall into the easy category. No character motivations to change, or subplots to delete. And no major changes to storyline. All I really have to do is add more scenes to my ending, as well as which my final (fairly short) scene  has to be cut or heavily revised. That doesn't mean I'm looking forward to doing it, but it's certainly achievable.

Anyway - I decided to tackle the shorter changes first, then move on to the longer ones. Shorter and longer in terms of amount of writing needed. Most of the short changes are to add in foreshadowing to build towards a climactic event I'm adding to the ending - and I've now completed them. Kind of like weaving some extra threads into a completed tapestry.

Next comes the fun part - adding a few whole scenes, and deciding what to show and what to skip over, which is never easy. I'll let you know how I go. And it will be interesting to see how many words this adds to the total length of the MS. I really have no idea at the moment.

You can read Nalini's suggestions for revisions in full here. If I do have more comprehensive revisions requested in the future I'll be keeping her advice in mind!


Serena said...

why hello there fellow crusader! *Waves and waves* Very pleased to meet you, thank you very much for choosing to follow I see you see, and you are my 50TH follower!!

Congrats at finding an agent, I am no where near that stage yet. But you must feel so proud of your self!! and excited!

Bast said...

Good luck on your edits! I'm at that stage as well. Thanks for the link to Nalini's suggestions.

Patricia A. Timms-McGehee said...

Thank you for coming to my blog and following. Together we crusade!

The edit and revise part is daunting. I'm in the edit/revise/edit stage. No agent as of yet, but I'm looking forward to NaNo and a fresh start. Luckily, you have easy changes. Great job on landing an agent! I hope the best for your WIP.

Faith said...

Hi Adina! Thanks for stopping over at my blog, here I am to continue the crusade!

The idea of tackling small problems first and then large problems is interesting. See, I'd rather tackle the large ones first, in case the revisions direct affect the small ones... that way, if I have to revise the same thing twice, I'd be revising the shorter sections / smaller problems over and over instead of the long ones.

But, everyone has their own way of revising, and it's very interesting to see how we each approach it.

Good luck with yours! I'm knee deep in some of my own, too :)

Unknown said...

Love your blog, thanks for Serena's shout-out I was able to follow the cookie crumb trail on over!!!

Revisions... yeah they are tough to get past. Any tips are helpful!!! I'm with Patricia I'm looking forward to Nano where I can start with a fresh idea, my favorite part of the writing process!

Unknown said...

Hi! Im a new follower from Serena's blog. Good lck with your revisions.... i just finshed my 5th time around on my latest ms. They never end. But it is WAY better than when it started. Save 1 time thru for removal of adverbs alone!!!

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