Manuscript revision checkpoint n°1

Yep, December isn’t finished yet and I have already dived into revision.

As always, I try to learn from my many failures and adapt. So I took a very different approach to revision this year.

1/ I did not wait

Most writing gurus recommend you to wait, let your text rest for a while and come back when ready. For me that’s the safest way to lose momentum and never touch the manuscript again. So I only waited enough time to figure out how I wanted to work.

2/ I took a very practical approach 

First of all, I must admit I was greatly inspired to take this approach by a picture of John Barrowman, doing a table read for a TV show (I believe it was Torchwood) and using a binder to work and carry around scripts.
I thought this was a great idea. (JB, if you ever read this article, thank you SO much). A girl can dream 😉

I printed the manuscript recto/verso and inserted it in a binder. This way, it’s easier to flip the pages and leave sticky notes. I can lay it flat on my desk and store notes at the end of the binder. This way, I do not have to fight to work and my manuscript is protected.
The accessories : a pen , a pen holder, a A4 zip pocket, sticky notes, dividers.

3/ I created my own revising method

After trying Rachel Aaron’s and Chuck Wendig’s, I knew I had to come up with a method that would not leave me lost and desperate.
So I decided to use two tools : organized revision notes and a work tracker.

I use a template for my note taking that includes a small table with the characters-goals-obstacle-outcome entries.
I also use written entries for : Place, POV, emotions expressed, senses (how do the POV senses react ? What does he see, smell, hear, ?  What are the textures and eventually tastes).

Everything is hand written, I do not want to be limited, I want to be able to write as much as needed.

My work tracker is pretty simple. It’s a sheet that allows me to track my work quickly with 3 different angles:

  • The log helps me write daily what I have read (pages, scenes…)
  • The scene table tracks the number of scenes read. One cell for one scene.
  • The page table tracks the number of pages read. One cell for 5 pages.

I keep this page simple, so there’s no color code involved.

4/ Posting a revision checkpoint article each Sunday

Because I care a lot about my readers I feel like sharing the revision process with all of you be a great adventure.

Here’s my first checkpoint :

5 scenes 15 pages. I’m planning on taking my binder with me during  our small holiday trip to the mountain.

Let’s talk about you guys. What’s your revision process for a novel if you have any ? What method have you tried ? Did it work ? Or not ? What did you enjoyed ? What didn’t you like ?

As usual, the comments section is all yours 😉

2 réflexions sur « Manuscript revision checkpoint n°1 »

  1. Pour l’instant, je n’en ai aucun et là est le grand problème. J’écris depuis toute jeune, mais réviser un roman complet… Je suis en quête de méthode, car j’espère vraiment m’y mettre en 2016! Bref, bonne continuation!

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