Flexibility in the Revision Process

I started to dig into revising SB this week.  I actually decided to revise the last chapter in the manuscript first. At first, I had this chapter as a something that occurred four years after the story ended, but after my critique partner’s notes and thinking about my main character, I realized that wasn’t right for how his journey is supposed to end in this story.  I changed it to a prologue because it occurs after the main action of the story ends, and it’s the next most important thing that the reader should know about my main character’s life.  What I realized this chapter is that I had framed the moment between my main character and another character around the wrong detail, and it wasn’t the detail that was important, but the relationship between the characters.  The way I had it written, the detail was distracting from the importance of the relationship between the two characters, and how my main character has evolved since the main action of the story ended.  It was what called to me when I opened the document, and now that I have that revised, it clarifies how much that relationship means to my main character and that will effect how I revise the story.

I also did that revision on the computer and this go around, I’m not going to force myself to do revisions one way or another, either computer or paper copy.  I have a paper copy of the manuscript that I will carry with me between home and my daughter’s dance studio and such, so I can dig into a chapter here and there while I’m out and about, but when I have a dedicated amount of hours to sit and revise, I’ll do that on the computer if I feel compelled.  I think I was tripping myself up the last time I was revising heavily by trying to force myself to stick with doing the revising one way.  Having the flexibility to go from one format to another will make the work of revising centered in the writing versus centered in the process.

I also realized that my chapter sizes are vastly different. 😳 I want to spend some time digging into what each chapter holds and decide if there are chapters that need to be combined or separated.  Doing that will help me hammer out what falls into which act of the story, where there are holes that need to be filled, and what needs more development.  I also realized when I formatted this story to share with my peer critique partner that several of my chapters begin and end in a similar manner, and that DEFINITELY needs to be addressed.

When you find you have a scene or chapter that’s focal point is wrong, how do you go about refocusing it? As in, do you fix the one scene or chapter and then go through the document focused on that one issue or try to see the story as a whole with that issue in the back of your mind?

Happy Writing!

Author’s Note

I should have said I was changing that chapter to an epilogue NOT a prologue, because an epilogue follows a story and a prologue proceeds it.  🤦🏻‍♀️ BIG sigh.  We all make mistakes friends, because none of us are perfect.  DO NOT LET THAT STOP YOU FROM GOING AFTER YOUR DREAMS! ⭐️

5 thoughts on “Flexibility in the Revision Process

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  1. I suppose it would depend on how much the focal point affects the rest of the story – I feel like I end up going through the whole book repeatedly with different things to focus on each time, until I feel like I’ve got it right.

    At any rate, you’re doing better than me, I haven’t started revising Victim’s Ball yet…

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    1. That’s a good point. The thing is, when I look at what I did the last time I revised the next time I revise I feel like I want to revise the revisions again. 😕 It feels a lot like trying to walk forward going the wrong way on a moving walkway. But, I know eventually I’ll find my way. You’ll get to the revisions and the story will be even more awesome! 😁

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