Halfway Through Revision

Welcome to a new week!

I’ve got some really good news today. This past weekend ended up being three days for me thanks to Texans’ inability to handle sub-freezing temperatures, especially when ANY sort of precipitation is involved. Classes were cancelled on Friday, so I made the most of my weekend by steaming ahead on a few more lessons in the How to Revise Your Novel course I’ve been working on.

I devised a much more expanded magic system for my world, as well as some much deeper themes. Something I love about Holly’s approach to writing is her visionary spirit and her insistence on writing with a purpose. I realised that I had begun writing my first NaNo manuscript with a vague sense of what I wanted to say in mind, but I had never sat down and seriously asked the all important question of WHY I was writing the book in the first place and what I wanted my readers to take away from it. It turned out to be quite an emotional exercise, but I feel much more confident about the direction it’s heading now.

I’ve come to the end of the “triage” part of the course, in which I learned how to analyse everything that went horribly amok, and now I’m bracing myself to begin learning the process of what Holly– an ex-nurse– calls “manuscript surgery.”

I’m a little bit nervous because it looks like I’m going to have to buckle down again and really envision each scene that I want to have when I’m done, though my novel is so wrecked that I’m basically keeping the core idea that sparked the whole thing and scrapping almost everything else.

It’s kind of the equivalent of the pain in the ass construction we’re always dealing with on my campus; one of our major buildings has been gutted, leaving hardly anything but the original skeleton while receiving a major face-lift to bring it into the 21st century. While this is a daunting task, I’m excited to say what I really meant to say, but missed, the first time through, and my Muse is happy to have me back now. I can hear her muttering suggestions as she sorts through the new material I’ve come up with this past week.

Now, I am going to listen to Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” and get back to revising!

Enough about me though! What about you? Have you made any important progress on your own projects? Hope to see you next Monday with many more words!

5 thoughts on “Halfway Through Revision”

  1. One of the most drummed-in ideas during my degree was that we had to know Why we were writing, so that we could say something at the end that wasn’t just pretty – it’s nice to see that this is advice given across the board. Especially as it’s so hard to do. Don’t you find it difficult to cut parts that you like? I always find I grow attached to my writing, but I have to say that once I know what it is I’m writing it for, it does feel a lot less difficult to cull 😉

    Good luck!

    1. Right now, I’m not at the point where I’ve actually begun cutting anything, although that will be here soon enough. Still, Holly’s course is VERY thorough, and at this point, I have had to read over my manuscript countless times, so I am pretty much sick of the damned thing. I *know* I am going to be cutting most of what I wrote, but I don’t regret it at all (heheh, I say that now…). There are a couple spots I think I’ll try to save and work into the new version, but honestly, I’m chomping at the bit to take a chainsaw to this mess of deadwood. 😉

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