Saturday, January 22, 2011

Breaking Down the Forest

Working on revision today. I've not been successful in finding a guide for revision of a novel. I divided the novel into 12 chapters a long time ago and am further breaking them down today. I've tabbed each location change with colored sticky-notes that will correspond to the colored note cards I have. I want to use the note cards to break down the scenes. Just breaking down the locations has shown me where I need to expand and where I need to cut out some information. I'm hoping once I get the scenes down on note cards I will then break it down further by what characters are present in the scenes.

My goal is to have this revision complete by the end of February and reprint for another review. The story is only 50K and only about 150 pages. Much more is needed to beef this up. I'm sure there are areas that need more details and information. I remember typing so quickly that I left out detail which may leave the reader confused. I have to remember that the reader cannot see the world the way I do in my mind unless I describe and show them.

For the most part the chapters / events are solid. The ending needs a bit of tweeking and one entire section needs to be reworked. I'm excited about that piece. I still want to somehow incorporate something online for one of the characters. I'm letting that piece simmer a bit more.

Back to breaking down the forest to take a look at the trees, the branches and some leaves...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Reading to Write

I don't read enough. I know it. Anyone that knows me knows it. My dog even knows it. So.. I'm reading. Presently, I'm reading "Writing Great Books for Young Adults" by Regina Brooks. Ok, so I've only read the introduction. Even so, it's already got me doubting if my novel is actually a YA or something just beyond. Guess, I'll have to read the whole book to figure it out. It's fairly short so if I don't make a big fuss about it and actually read it... I'll get back to you on that.

The only reason I bought this book was because I was yet again trying to find a book that clues me in to the next step in this novel process. I'm so very tired of seeing books on the shelf about writing the novel, getting the idea and finishing the first draft. I did that! Next!! This book appears to have a few "what to do next" suggestions. We'll see.

There are books that will take you from idea to publisher in 12 easy steps but there's always a step missing. Revision and self-editing are either mentioned on two pages or skipped all together. Is editing/revision one of those "feel your way through it" processes? Ugh.

In the meantime, my novel waits for me to make up my mind about the future of it's 156 pages.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Simmer Down...

I've touch my stack of drafted novel chapters several times. I've lovingly grazed my fingers over the words and picked up a pencil now and again only to set it back down. It's not ready for me yet or I'm not ready for it. Something is keeping me from directing my energy towards the revision of this story I adore. I do not intend to change much, just refine what I have. Sure there's a useless chapter and at least one chapter that is yet to be created, but the sum of the parts will be the same in the end. Ah... the end. I love the ending.

So what's keeping my pencil at bay? What's pushing me towards other tasks that need to be done but could certainly wait an hour or three? Any number of distractions or excuses would answer those questions I suppose.

Part of me is still reveling in the sheer fact that I finished writing the first draft. I completed the story. I gave the characters a beginning (which wasn't too hard), a middle (which caused eye twitching) and an end (which brought about arguing with non-existent people). When I look to my shelf of books about writing, the majority of them address the issue of actually writing the novel from beginning to end. I've done that now haven't I? I browsed my local book store for books on revision and what to do next. I came up empty. But this is just another excuse to put the draft aside and wait.

Wait for what? For it to simmer just under a boil, to brown to a golden hue or to blacken to a crisp? Well none of that will happen without some heat. The heat... that is where I come in. I and my 0.5 mechanical pencil (two clicks, please) at the ready.