I’m back with another update from the world of revision!
Upon looking at my manuscript after taking a break from it, my prior linear approach (revising the story from beginning to end in order) didn’t seem as appealing as when I’d started working that way (I don’t typically revise this way). The parts of the story that I was more drawn to working on were toward the middle and end, which is where some of the bigger character growth happens.
However, one reason I had been working on a more linear revision was to get all the pieces of the story arc to flow from each other—to tighten up the story. So I decided to section the manuscript off into parts.
Too Much To Manage
I initially was thinking three parts would make sense: One part with the intro and exposition material, a second part where the story really ramps up, and a third part with the biggest character arc movement or character growth moment. What actually happened was that I broke the story up into smaller pieces (21 pieces), each more centered around a story beat. Each of these pieces got a label of approximately what happens in them—something to bring to mind the events or scenes within.
Then, I’ve taken these sections and outlined them more individually and in more detail. I’m writing down some of the objective events (what happens) but more importantly what needs to happen (what story elements and character growth needs to happen in each section to contribute to the overall story). Thinking about the manuscript this way is more helpful for me to conceptualize how the story fits together. It also helps me see what’s there and what I should add or improve. I’m writing toward a target and with a checklist of sorts. It’s just more concrete.
Too Much To Remember
Another thing that’s been happening over here in RevisionWorld is that I have way too many things to keep track of. Too many details about too many characters and too much worldbuilding information. Looking back through the manuscript, I noticed terms that I don’t remember creating and I know I’ll forget again.
I’m creating an internal wiki I can use to compile all this information and interlink everything. It’s taken me some time to learn the software I’m using (and I’m still learning it, though I have the basics down). I actually got this idea listening to Brandon Sanderson talk about the fact that he has an internal wiki to track these things, and it seemed like something to give a shot. Frankly, for me, sometimes just writing things down and actually thinking about the thing again helps me remember, so even if I don’t reference it, maybe it will help the information be more readily available in my memory. That’s the hope anyway.
I think that’s all I’ve got to say in this update. My hope is to do weekly updates or blog posts (some weeks an update and others a post), depending on what I have to say and if there are any updates.
Thanks for reading!