My NaBlo posts are in the form of letters to my journal about my revision process. Along the way, I'll include Home-Made Revision Workshop posts, and my Friday Challenges...
It is Sunday and it is raining. The chickens don't want out of their coop, the dog is dozing on his cushion, the step-dot is doing whatever it is she does up in her room, and sweet patootie is downstairs looking at bills (or playing solitaire). The bunch of us (except the chickens) were going to drive to Chester and take the ferry to Tancook Island for a boo around, but we're not. And so, my friend, I am going to spend a good couple of hours on my revisions.
Today I have two goals - finish the edits on the last chapter - and map out how I'm going to proceed. What makes sense is to keep on slogging with putting the remaining chapters into third person and then looking at the overall changes I want to make. I think, in order not to get too bored, I'll probably have a schedule where I change two chapters a day (of 25) and then look at one element a day that needs major work. Let me give you an example - it really helps to think out loud like this. So we'll say this new regime starts tomorrow. I'll put chapters 12 and 13 into 3rd person and I'll begin contemplating how I can enrich my protagonist, Libby. I'll probably see who I think she is and how that is ACTUALLY manifesting in my work. This will take quite awhile (two weeks perhaps), at which time I'll be through the changing of chapters. These are the elements I want to focus on in October:
1. character - how my characters are revealed, what needs to be beefed up or pared down, who is not becoming three dimensional and is that OK or do they need to go - and like that.
2. plot - the plot is not a huge part of this story - but I need to see if the story arc is actually there and how I can make each part of it, not only plausible, but inevitable
3. theme - are my themes apparent while avoiding being too obvious? How can I enhance them if need be or eliminate too many cropping up (the Oprah book selection syndrome, I call it)!
4. conflict, suspense and all that good stuff. I think this is the timing of when things occur in the book and I know a few places where I need to tighten this up - either by quickening the pace or slowing it down. I'm sure there will be more places than I've imagined.
5. dialogue - this is not much of a problem for me, coming from a playwriting background, however - I still need to check for hyperbole and too much obfuscation.
6. Clarity - where have I written scenes involving undepicted action or with vague description, knowing what I mean but not sharing it with my readers?
As I do any of this, including switching the 25 chapters from first to third person, I will be paying attention to micro-editing - polishing, paring, weeding out the shite clichés that litter those chapters that haven't been considered enough. Back and forth - between the balcony and the floor - I will dash.
I'm off now - to begin! Talk to you tomorrow...