Sunday, January 11, 2015

Knee-deep in revisions.

by Kristi Belcamino

I'm at my very favorite part of the writing process - revising.

My editor has looked at BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO WEEP and provided a three-page edit letter with her superb ideas to polish and make this book shine.

Along with implementing her ideas, I'm doing my own rounds of revisions. Here are some of the things I am doing in the next two weeks until the novel is due back on my editor's desk:

* Print the manuscript out in a different font (it's a little ploy to trick the brain into reading it fresh) and re-read.

* Read the entire manuscript out loud to look for clunky or confusing phrasing.

* Check the manuscript chapters against my little index cards to make sure I have the right things happening at the right day.

* Ensure with all my changes that the book still hits those key beats—such as the entry into act one and the midpoint, and so on—at the right places.

* Look for ways to add small details to make each scene come to life.

* Examine each player's character arc to see how the story has affected them.

* Re-read action scenes and slow down to alternate the action, thoughts, dialogue, and description.

* Look at how I start and end each scene. Can I jazz up the beginning and ending of chapters?

* Do most scenes end with a setback?

* When looking at each scene, have I included sight, feeling, sound, smell, taste, emotion, how the light is, what the character wants and possibly micro-obstacles in the scene as much as makes sense?

* Have I searched and destroyed filler words, such as "just" "suddenly" "very" "really" and words that are abused in first-person books, such as "I think" "I remember" "I saw."

* In addition, I'm looking at overdoing some phrases. For instance, I usually don't pay attention to negative comments, but I thought one reviewer had a point that I might possibly have overdone the use of one phrase in my first book when I talked about bile rising into Gabriella Giovanni's throat. This is a case where maybe less would've been more.

That is a brief summary of some of the things I'm doing in this revision process. Please weigh in and tell me what you think. Did I miss some things? What else should I be doing?

1 comment:

tom pitts said...

Great list. Simple tips that are easy to overlook when you're in the middle of the storm. I'm revising a novel now and I just emailed this link to myself. God willing I'll have the presence of mind to open it up and use it.