Revision

I’m working on revising my NaNoWriMo story and that’s taking most of my writing time which is great.

How am I revising/editing?

The following is generally how I’ve been going about this next draft and hopefully it’s making my first draft better and that’s the goal.

  • I’ve been working on fleshing out my characters. I see them clearly in my imagination but I have to make sure a reader can see them too.
  • I have some places to fill in that I skipped in the mad rush of that first draft. I’m writing entire new scenes for those areas. This seems easier now that I see where the story is going more clearly.
  • I saved each scene in its own folder and I’m going through those one at a time. Eventually I’m hoping they will each be a chapter. And I like having each one in its own folder so as this book takes shape I can rearrange easily if I need to. At first I had just numbered them as I wrote but now I’m adding chapter titles so I have an idea of what is going on in each one. This makes it easier to remember what happened when.
  • I’m updating and creating a synopsis as I go. This helps me keep an eye on the story as a whole and will be a better tool for me once this first revision is done. This will help making a short description of the story when it’s done. The chapter titles really help here.
  • When I find things I need to know more about I let myself get on the internet and look things up. That can be a huge time dump so I’m careful about doing that. I like doing this when I’m too tired to actually write. At least I feel like I’m still working on the story but in a different way.

The more I read about revision the more I see that everyone does what works for them. I like picking up techniques that appeal to me.

I also see that a lot of people don’t like this part of the writing process. I like it. To me the hard part is getting a completed first draft done. Revising is adding all the fun parts and the details that make the story come alive. It’s like doing a giant jigsaw puzzle.

I read books, blogs and writing forums to pick up ideas. But again I have to be careful not to spend all my writing time doing that. I need to stick to the actual writing.

Do you have any favorite tools or suggestions about revision that you would like to share? I would love to hear your ideas.

Keep writing!

Using the Comment Feature

After reading Jennifer M Eaton’s blog post I realized that I don’t always write in a linear manner. Especially with longer pieces. I tend to write scenes as they show up in my imagination. When I do write in the proper order of things, and an idea for another part of the story pops into my head I use the Comment Feature in Word. This way I don’t have to leave what I’m working on; I just add a comment.

For instance, if I’m working on Chapter Four and I realize that I’ll have to add a small change back in Chapter Two, I click on the comment icon, type up a quick reminder to myself, close it, and go back to what I was typing. This way I don’t lose my train of thought plus I don’t lose the idea.

Later, once I’m done writing or revising, I can go back to that comment and act on it.