Tag Archives: ywriter

The Revision Process

Back in February I talked about how I planned to do my first lot of revisions once I finished the first draft of my manuscript. Now I have finished those initial revisions, I am now doing more revisions (does it ever end !) so I thought I would dedicate a post to what my focus is in this part of the revision process. First a brief recap of what I did for my first lot of revisions.

FIRST ROUND REVISIONS

Main focus: Structure and technical elements

1. Listen to chapter read aloud on ywriter and highlight flaws.

2. Read chapter, fix spelling and grammar and make additional notes.

3. Go back over highlighted parts of text and rewrite (highlighted parts generally indicate telling rather than showing and awkward phrasing)

4. Read aloud chapter to myself and fix anything else that stands out.

SECOND ROUND REVISIONS

Main focus: Tightening manuscript and fixing plot flaws

1. Delete all unnecessary words, descriptions and anything not relevant to the plot. This includes getting rid of words like ‘that’ and backstory that contributes nothing to the plot. I also deleted the entire prologue.

2. Make a list of plot holes then go back and fix them.

3. Rewrite beginning (multiple times) until it hooks the reader.

4. Raise the stakes! Delete anything boring and add more conflict.

5. Restructure chapter breaks. Instead of ending chapters at mundane natural breaks (like falling asleep at the end of one chapter and waking up the next morning at the start of the following chapter) use chapter breaks in high-tension places to hook the reader into the next chapter.

6. Create more natural dialogue between characters.

7. Work with critique partner to pinpoint flaws I have overlooked and to see what impressions a reader would have of the manuscript in its current state.

What do you do when you revise? Do you follow a similar structure or do you revise in a completely different way?

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NaNoWriMo and other updates

It’s been a little while since my last blog entry, so here is an update on what I’ve been doing of late:

– I’m still working on my novel, though I’ve slowed down somewhat after hitting a slight roadblock, which I’ve just about worked out now.

– I’ve been doing a lot of character development and relooking at my overall plot to give myself new perspective and motivation.

– I downloaded a great free program called ywriter which has been designed by an author for authors. The program allows you to input all your novel’s information including character information, location information, you can write your novel in scenes, swap scenes and chapters around, keep notes and (my favourite part) it even reads your writing aloud to you! I’ve only just started using it, but I already love it and I know it is going to be a fantastic resource while working on my novel.

– I’ve been inspired by an event called NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in which participants attempt to write 50000 words in a month. I’m not joining officially as I don’t believe I will be able to churn out 50000 words during November, but I am inspired to at least attempt to get some serious writing on my novel during November using NaNoWriMo as my motivation. The idea is to just write, without worrying about editing, whenever you have spare time. Then once November is over you can go back and edit and turn that writing into something legible.

– While procrastinating on my novel, I’ve been writing a novella on the side. It’s a horror story set within a high school. Originally I wrote this plot idea about 11 years ago as a script and made it into a short film for an English project. I’ve unearthed the plot and am now attempting to turn it a more substantial story.

So that’s what I’ve been doing lately. I’ll keep my blog updated during November and let you know how my novel is progressing during the madness of NaNoWriMo.