Thursday, July 7, 2011

Revision Checklist

Stalking the awesome Nathan Bransford today I found another useful list that I taped to my desk to help me as I enter revision zone.

The main plot has to stay consistent:

I have had issues with a few books I read recently in which the plot shifted into unknown territory which left me with so many questions and I am the type of reader if something doesn't make sense I look back to see if I missed something,that's just me other readers may say bye bye to your book.

Characters experience's has to seem like a roller coaster: Nathan explains the character has to go through up and down moments that's why readers read books they don't want MC to have things work out nice and fluffy like cotton candy they want to be on that journey, to feel satisfied that the MC achieved her goals.

CONFLICT:
conflict is the heart and soul of a good book show the good the bad and the ugly of your MC back stories, histories digging deep will ensure the reader further understands why they should care about your character because back to plot it will help it

Pacing:
I am currently rewriting my YA PNR I struggled with the consistency of the pacing in my original version. The truth of the genre I am writing in is that teens don't want to be bored they want there quick fix and move on or if they love the book they may read it again.

Tense:
This is one of the known suspects for me I always slip, in addition the POV I am writing is in first person but my awesome beta catches me when I use we etc

Ground the reader:
Basically keep the scenes tight, give as much information that is needed for the scene

Voice:
I don't think I need to go in depth about this one most writers understand yet they struggle with gaining their unique writing voice, which I did as well. What is so unique about your writers voice that will sets you apart from other writers? I have engraved this on my desk to never try and write like another writer its one thing to get inspired its something totally different to mimic. I think it also has a lot to do with self esteem too so believe in yourself and your voice will shine through your words, descriptions, emotions etc

Too much description:
Climatic events should be given priority pay attention to chapters, editing out what doesn't advance the plot, conflict etc reflect if the plot still makes sense if you delete a chapter scene etc ( I advise though to have a outtakes file you never know when you might need that for another scene I learned the hard way)

Relationship of the characters:
This has to get more complex, evolve as the novel progresses

GMC:
Know your main characters internal external goals so that when you are in revisions you can answer this question: Is it clear to audience the unconscious motivations

Tics:
I call them known suspects, mine are short scenes which doesn't leave reader grounded


Dialogue and other mention-ables:
He said/She said dialogue tags when there doesn't need to be if the dialogue is rocking then don't go a tagging (I just made that up nerd muse is on fire )
Can I get a ADVERBS INTERJECTIONS press the delete button now, I was told by my beta I had too many adverbs and when I checked oh yeah taking a few out made a huge difference.Gestures my editor told me one of my crutches was characters running fingers through hair now I stray away from that crutch sparingly. Repetition when I wrote this word for some strange reason I had Aretha Franklin RESPECT song in my head

The End:
I am almost there *squee* according to Nathan it cannot sound rushed, it has to tie up all loose ends although I have written the second book in my potential series guess what agent/big editor at nice pub house may not give a hoot so I have to write my baby as if I will never get opportunity for a series pack the juice it but it has to be a satisfactory conclusion.

Final thoughts:
The whole point of a story IMHO is to identify the changes the character makes I hate to use this example but I must BELLA in TWILIGHT series I did not get the sense that she evolved I wanted her to kick some Vulturi butt, I wanted her to go off to study maybe somewhere like Paris, I wanted her to be her own women without living for Edward even though he was the love of her forever.
Kiersten white author of Paranormalcy and soon to be released SUPERNATURALLY
commented that minor characters can be combined I personally have not done this but it is an interesting thought I have a character book and organized MC and minor characters if a character becomes one of the main characters I think about that for a while because most of the time it just happens, for example I had a main character initially be the secondary love rival for my MC with the rewrite and new plot that is not possible he will still however be a really good friend.
Scenes:
must be dramatic on their own as well as contribute to overall plot
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So that's all folks its 1:57 in Toronto my girls are in my bed my husband is sleeping in younger daughter room and I can't sleep which is why I cannot have a consistent day to blog when the idea for post comes I am on fire now I will write another hour.
Write with joy (and plenty of chocolate)

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