Thursday, March 25, 2010

And so it begins...

So, so, so: I plunged into Stage #1 of revisions for Seer today. Pretty sure it's the shortest amount of time that's ever passed between rough draft and edits for me, but I just couldn't bear to wait any longer. The story wouldn't leave me alone, and that's a good thing, right? It's been several weeks, at least. That's something. :-)

Anyways. I wanted to try a slightly different tack than my normal scribble-on-my-manuscript-with-colored-ink-and-make-lots-of-notes-and-get-lost-in-overwhelming-bouts-of-wallowing-despair revision process, and through various tweets and links and Google searches, am attempting a combination of the Shrunken Manuscript Technique, a spreadsheet outline, and working through Anita Nolan's wonderful-looking revision checklist. We'll see what sticks and what doesn't.

So far today I printed out a shrunken manuscript and marked the different POVs, then began working through my regular-sized manuscript page by page, making notes and hi-lighting things I want to keep track of (like world-building and character details), and marking things I realize aren't working (like much of chapter three). If I find a scene that's Interesting, Intriguing, and Filled With Wonderful Tension, I get to mark it on the shrunken manuscript. So far only one scene has made the cut. o_0 As I'm reading through the scenes, I'm also filling out my spreadsheet, which thus far includes the categories Voice, Location, Time, Synopsis, Point of Scene, Notes, and # of pages.

By the time I finish my first read-through, I'll hopefully have identified all the problem areas and have three different ways to look at the novel (shrunken, spreadsheet, scribbled-upon-manuscript) and figure out how to fix it.

Hopefully.

I'll keep you posted. :-)

11 comments:

TerryLynnJohnson said...

This is so interesting. I'm checking out these links, never heard of the techniques! Good luck! Like to hear about your process.

Anna said...

Sounds like you're on a roll! I've never heard of the shrunken manuscript method (it makes me think of shrunken heads) - I'll have to check it out. Happy revising!

Anne M Leone said...

Great list of resources--thank you!

Good luck with the revisions. I hate just starting out--so daunting!

Joanna R. Smith said...

Thanks for the luck, everyone—glad you enjoyed the links. :-)

Headed into day two of revisions—here's hoping for lots of progress!

Veronica said...

Thanks for the links! I'm revising these days too.

mirrorsandmagicfrogs said...

Have you read A Conspiracy of Kings yet? I just finished it. I was disappointed and found myself missing Eugenides most of the time. :(

Joanna R. Smith said...

Good luck with your revisions, Veronica!

mirrors, Nope I haven't managed to get my hands on a copy yet. :-( Hopefully sometime next week!!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Joanna, just to let you know, I posted a shout out to your blog on mine today.

Traci Van Wagoner said...

Thanks for the links Joanna! I'm in the middle of big revisions too, and I'm going to check out these techniques. Right now, I'm working off the scribbled notes technique and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Good luck with your revisions. I also posted a link to your blog on mine.

Joanna R. Smith said...

Thanks, Terry!

Good luck with your revisions as well, Traci! Hope the techniques help and you're able to get a little less overwhelmed. Thanks for the link!

silent_librarian said...

I love hearing about this! Your processes for writing/editing are just so interesting. Despite the fact that there is some struggling with your novel, it must be fun to find out all these things about your novel. I wish you the best of luck and that things turn around for the better. :)

I looked into the Shrunken Manuscript link and that is SO cool! I am going to keep that in mind for my own story that I am trying to work on. The techniques people come up with. They are awesome.