Redundant? Probably. But REALITY for all writers? I’d bet a lot of things, yes.
I am still trying to figure out if there’s a better way to dive into revising, or if rather there’s a way to make the process more of a “process” with a thing to do first and then a thing to do last rather than a “I’m not sure what to do first, second, or third, so I’m jumping in and hoping I’m not jumping in at 33rd.” In the spirit of that, here’s what I’ve done this week in the whatever step of the process I’m at.
In thinking about the pieces of the story I just added, and how they will tie into the rest of the story, I made a list of questions I would assume a critic would ask if they read this version of the manuscript. I wrote down all of the questions, walked away from them for a few days, and then looked at them as if for the first time. That exercise helped me identify the critical things I need to address/keep in the back of my mind as I weave the old with the new to make it feel like all of the pieces were there from the beginning.
I also decided that I would take some time to complete a couple of exercises I’m calling preludes. The preludes will be short stories no more than five-eight pages long (that I am NOT going to spend time revising) that will tell pre-stories about the story. For SB, these will be stories about some of the characters lives before this story begins, and tales that will explain the history of the traditions being discussed. This will help give me more information related to the questions I came up with, without trying to do all of that work of understanding their backgrounds inside of the story. I’ll be able to take the information from those preludes and weave it into the story without it feeling too clunky.
And then, my dear friends, I crashed. This week hit me HARD. It’s this time of year that does it, when my girls are back in school, and we’re back in the swing of full schedules and everything, that my body says nope, enough is enough, and you need to rest. So, I rested. I watched some horror movies with my husband (or rather he watched and I peaked from between my hands), I read, I got on my yoga mat, and I drew in my art journal. It was lovely, and needed, and now, it’s back to work.
Do you have a process that you follow when you get into revising a piece? Are there specific activities you do when you’re revising?