Monday, 26 November 2018

NaNoWriMo Day 26: Envisioning the Revision

With just four days left of this year's NaNoWriMo writing challenge, it's hard to not get excited about the end—even if there are words to write, and of course, revisions to December.

I've still got a few hundred words to go to meet my 5,000-word goal on this short story, but I plan to carve out those last few paragraphs in the next day or so, so that when December 1 hits, I'm ready to start revising.

But what does that mean?

Basically, it means start to "see" or story again—with fresh eyes, a fresh perspective. Most importantly, with no looming deadline. (Unless of course you're publishing your story somewhere and someone has given you a deadline...)

In this process, you pick apart the story. Analyze the dialogue—are the characters speaking in original voices? Does what they are saying make sense? Feel "true" to their character? Take a look at your descriptions—are they succinct? Do they include sensory details? Have you said enough about the setting so that it comes to life for the reader? Could you be more specific in the details?

How about your characters? Do they have a true "arc"—a place where they started, and then ended differently? Do they move the plot forward? Are they original and well-developed? (There's nothing worse than cardboard cut-outs!)

And how about that plot? Does it flow? Make sense? Drag? Are there any major gaps? How's the pacing? Does each sentence, every paragraph and page beg you to read more?

I know, it's a lot to consider. Don't worry if you're not quite there yet, or if you miss some things on your first revision pass. Some stories take many revisions. Dawn Ius, the author of the Superman Duffy graphic novels says her young adult book Anne & Henry went through five revisions...on the first chapter alone

To be honest, I'm kind of excited to start revising my novel. Someone famous once said, "Manuscripts are written on the first draft—stories are written in revisions." Something to think about as I power through the first draft of this story.

Gotta jet! Happy Monday, and may the words be with you.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

No comments:

Post a Comment