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 😉