22 hours ago
Monday, March 8, 2010
Well, I almost didn't make it this past week. One of my goals was to blog Monday through Friday. I had no internet for two days so that goal was a wash, but internet doesn't affect my writing, right? In addition to internet issues, I also had plotting issues. I mentioned in Friday's post that I finally got a handle on it. Lucky for me, I didn't have to work Friday through Sunday so I was able to finish the first draft of Blood Diamond.
Now the hard part. Revisions. I outlined my revision plan to my accountability group, basically editing two chapters on my off days from the part time job and one chapter on the days I have to work, to finish by Sunday. This may seem drawn out, as one of my accountability partners challenged. It got me thinking. Could I do more? On the days I work at the part time job, the answer is no. And this week is a long one for me as I have to work more days than usual. On the days that I don't work the part time job? Hmm, I really don't think so.
I have a process. It's rather involved, but by spending extra time with each chapter, I try to get all my revisions done in as few passes as possible. I also don't revise as I write so even though I write fairly clean, I tend to leave some things out and the plot tends to change somewhat. The first thing I do is to read through my selected chapters. Today that will be chapters one and two. As I read, I will make notes of things that are no longer part of the story and where I need to add. Once I make those changes, I print out the chapters and grab my highlighters.
Now, if you've ever taken Margie Lawson's Deep EDITS class, you'll know where I'm going with the highlighters. If not, you have got to take her class. The gist is that you color code highlight your manuscript so you can see at a glance things you need based on how much of each color you have on your papers and what those colors represent. It's a five color process. Once I see what I've got and what I need to balance it out, I work on that.
Once I have added what I think I need to add, I run my pages through a writing program. This program helps me catch passive verbs, clichés, hidden verbs, etc. It's not a hundred percent since it's geared toward business writing, but it helps me catch a lot. There is another program I use to find overused words. Once I go through all this, I do another read through.
My process can be quite time intensive and I want to spend the time I need with each chapter. This is my process, as convoluted as it may sound.
What's your process?