Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Clean-up

Raking my front yard today has me thinking about spring clean-up. What a difference an hour and rake can make to the way the yard looks!

Wait for it...insightful metaphor coming...

It has me thinking about the revision process. I've got a finished first draft of a YA novel. It's been simmering in the back of my mind for years, but only in the last six months has it taken shape and become something.

I'm now preparing for revisions -- and like taking the rake to the dead leaves and grass from last fall -- I've got to go through my draft and weed out the dead words, extra adverbs, and too long back story. But, like my front yard which needs to have some fertilizer and grass seed - not to mention pink impatiens planted in the garden - my novel needs...more. More what, you say? Not sure yet. More clues, more feeling, more relevant dialogue. Better arc for primary and secondary characters. More, more, right?

I'm taking suggestions on a revision process -- I've got some workbooks, and some suggestions from crit partners. I know the bottom line is that I need to use what works for me. But this is my first time through this process -- so it's going to be trial and error.

What method do you use to revise?


Kelly said...

I go page by page and write my changes on the sides. I think I'm going to do a major overhaul on my current wip though (I'm changing it from a chapter book to a mg); I'm going to have to think of a better system.

Kris said...

Thanks for stopping by Kelly! I love the simplicity of the page-by-page method. I use that for my non-fiction -- but those mss are much shorter. I cringe at doing it for my 200 page wip. I've got some revision text books on order - I'm hoping they'll have some good suggestions!

Kiki Hamilton said...

Hi Kris,

Congratulations on finishing your first draft! That is awesome and MONUMENTAL!!!! Good for you!

Revision can be hard, but it is an essential part of the process. My editor recommended a book that I've found really helpful. It's Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King. Easy to read and easy to understand.

Good luck!

Kris said...

Thanks, Kiki - and thanks for stopping by. I still can't believe I've got a finished first draft! I'm looking forward to the revision process -- seems like it should be easier than the first draft. But who knows? I've got the book you recommended on my shelf - time to get it out!

Heather Kelly said...

Oh boy. I've been in revision for a long time. You'd think I'd have a method by now. (Well, I have several!) I start my outlines during my revision phase. I want to make sure that everything lines up. And in my newest revision, I take two chapters and read through on paper, marking with stickies, then edit, then enter into computer, then send chapters to Alpha partner, who tells me if I'm going in the right direction... Then the next two chapters... I break it down like that because it does seem big to do all at once... GOOD LUCK. Email me if you need extra support!