Anatomy of a revision: Days 4 and 5

May 1, 2011 at 5:23 pm (Anatomy of a revision)

A lot of Day 4 went to family matters, but a couple of hours with coffee and a notebook meant that I:

  • figured out how to crush one character’s spirit, put him through his own personal hell, and then bring him out again renewed,
  • outlined the introduction of another character so that he’s not standing around doing diddly-squat for three chapters,
  • and started a timeline for the world, just so I have an idea of scale. It rapidly becomes clear that I’m crap at making timelines; I keep wanting to add notes that take up much more than their alloted space.

The resident organist suggests I start building a wiki for this world, based on some games of Lexicon that we’ve played. I might just do that — so long as it doesn’t keep me from the revision.

Day 5: Assembled the last of the crits, then took a long walk. At the end of it, sat down at a coffee shop and, with the help of a large dose of caffeine, wrote out a new outline that keeps the good parts while kick-starting the beginning, adding more action scenes (since according to the crit these were made of puppies and sparkles — not in so many words), and leading up to the ending in a more satisfactory way. I’m not yet sure how to restructure the end of it, but I think I can hold off on that for now. (And of course, now that this is on the net, once I reach that point I’ll be able to look back on this post and laugh. And laugh. And laugh.)

It’s really tempting to make estimates right now, along the lines of “If I get one chapter done per day, then I’ll have a draft ready by X date.” But that’s really not a good idea. Still, I think I can get enough momentum to barrel through some sections of this.


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