Writing Wednesday is slightly late this week – I’m bogged down in coursework and revision already! But better late then never! This week I am going to be focusing on revision/re-drafting. I find that revision is a lot harder then the first draft, when you are churning out every idea you have. Instead its about polishing, cutting and experimenting with different things! So here are five revision tips that have helped me, and will hopefully help you!
- Write out a plot plan. This way you will know where your story is going, so you’ll instantly know which scenes to cut out and which ones to keep. BUT don’t rigidly stick to the plan – if some brilliant idea comes into your head but doesn’t fit in you plan, maybe change your plan a bit.
- Revision is the time to work out your kinks from the first draft. So look closely at your scenes, get other people to read them, and read them out loud yourself! So many sentences and paragraphs sound great to you, but might not make any sense to anyone else.
- Develop your characters. I definitely recommend character sheets – like this one. This is particularly important with secondary characters – they have their own hopes, fears and goals as well as the main protagonist!
- Tie every loose end up. In my first draft, I changed my main characters name about five times, there were scenes that weren’t completed and random characters that disappeared half way through! In re-drafting the story has got to make sense to people other then yourself. Although its expensive, I would definitely print out and read your first draft. Then you can scribble on it to your hearts desire and make notes about scenes/people/places that don’t quite make sense.
- Take your time! Revision is no quick and easy process, especially if you (like me) did the first draft in a short amount of time. Getting your manuscript to the best possible place is the main objective! It doesn’t matter if it takes weeks, months, or years!
So I hope you have enjoyed my first Writing Wednesday and are having a good week. Christmas seems so long ago now!