Sorry for the gap! I dove deep into writing and was so caught up I forgot to post! I’m back to discuss the first step in my revision process. During the month of October, I’ll go over how I plot my upcoming novels as I prepare for NaNoWriMo in November. I tell you this because at this point I already have my characters outlined.
I do this while I’m in the planning stage of my novel, but after I finish my first draft, I always return to those character outlines. As I’m writing, I may discover a facet to a character I might not have thought of originally, or the character may have evolved from the original outline I did.
Also, new characters tend to insert themselves into the story as I go along. I will add these characters in and flesh them out.
I use the books created by Writers Helping Writers to work through my character traits, both negative and positive, as well as their emotional wounds. You can find these books here.
This is one of the quickest parts of my revision process, because most of the work is already done. This step usually doesn’t take too long, having done most of the work during the brainstorming portion, but it is extremely important in making sure that my characters are dynamic and believable.
Once I cross my T’s and dot my I’s with my characters, I move on to plotting.
Camp NaNoWriMo is officially over and can I just tell you I am relieved! While I am my most productive self during NaNo events, by the end I am plain Jane exhausted.
My goal was to draft my novel, The Lovers, which I set at around 50,000 words. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m a light drafter. While I plot and outline, I am still a discovery writer at heart. So my first draft ends up being the main beats of the story and any scenes that jumped out to me while I was writing.
While it is common practice to let a novel “sit” for a while after drafting before revisions, I have found that doesn’t work for me, at least not at this stage. I’ve found a way that works for me and it involves immediately diving back into edits after getting my first draft down.
Now, I’m sure my drafting and revision style will evolve as I continue to evolve as a writer, but this month I’m going to walk you through my revision of The Lovers.
The very first thing I do when I am revising is to set goals.
My first goal is to have the novel ready for beta readers by the end of September. Now, I know what you’re thinking: yes, that is a very ambitious goal. I am using this blog to hold myself accountable. Also, this novel is the one I’m using for my thesis for my graduate school program, so that has a deadline of its own.
Now that I have my main goal, I break my goal into smaller parts.
Wish me luck, y’all. I’m going to need it.