February 20, 2010

How to Revise and Edit the Crap Out of Your Novel, Even When You've Been Over it a Million Times

What a fantastic writing day! I finally got my butt in gear. I ordered a bound copy of Shadow Bound from CreateSpace (extra huge, for roomy margins) and dug out an accordion folder, some paper, and my How to Revise Your Novel worksheets.

By the way, if you're not taking How to Revise Your Novel, make sure you take it when the course is offered again. I'm only on the second part of Lesson 1 and I'm blown away by how much I didn't catch on my own. As I said before, I have read and edited Shadow Bound so many times, I think my eyes were getting carpal tunnel.

I spent an hour this morning gathering my materials and filling out the first HTRYN worksheet--basically, what I envisioned when I decided to write the book. What a motivating exercise! I got to re-experience all that excitement that drove me to write the book in the first place. I also got to look at all those cool little goodies my Muse threw out at me while I was writing it. You know, the fantastic twists and turns even YOU didn't see coming.

Later, (when my toddler FINALLY went down for a nap), I spent another hour and a half or so going through the next set of worksheets. There's one worksheet for each part of a developing novel. Sometimes I wrote what I loved about my book, sometimes I wrote what needed to be fixed.

I caught SO much stuff that needed to be cut, and a bunch of places where some good sensory detail would make the story come alive. I found a lot of boring inner dialogue. Folks, I found a TON of stuff that I missed on the last two major edits (and all those little ones in between).

I cannot tell you how much How to Revise Your Novel not only helped me revise and see things in a new light, but motivated me to buckle down and revise in the first place.

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