Revising, A Story of Process and Tools

Last week I started the work of revising MS:SB. I had already cleared my plot board and knew I really wanted to utilize it during this revision. As I dug into the manuscript and began evaluating my chapters, I made notes as I had before on small pieces of paper. I wrote one for each chapter in the book and pinned them on the board so I can see the story in its entirety. I also made and am making a card for the chapters I haven’t written yet and I’ll decide where they fit in the story before messing around with my document. I have a section on my plot board for notes about things I’m adding into the story that will need to be threaded throughout the manuscript. While I was talking about the story this week, I realized an item my main character values is way more important to him than he or I realized. In order to highlight the value of it, I need to explain the origin of it early in the story and let the story focus on it more because the reader will realize the true importance of it before the main character will. I wrote the name of the item in bold on a card and stuck it in the middle of the notes section on my plot board. I’d like to create a word/idea cloud around it in my writer’s journal this coming week to really tease out how it will show up in the story.

Another tool I’m really trying to utilize more then I have before is Scrivener. I love the software, though I don’t know all of the ins and outs of using it as well as I would like. I have sought help from friends who are much more comfortable with it than I am, but I’m really challenging myself to dig around and figure out how to use it more effectively. Last week I played around with the index card feature to utilize the plot board feature in the Scrivener doc and see it electronically. (I’m realizing now I could have copied down the exact wording I put on the cards on my physical plot board onto the electronic ones. And have consistency between the two. But I didn’t. Huh.)

This week I’m looking forward to continuing the work on MS:SB. I still haven’t finished the revising of the chapters of MS:D that are sitting in my bag OR finished the chapter in MS:L. With MS:L I have some decisions about what I want to do before I push forward too much further in that manuscript. It’s a story that requires more research for the world-building and more time for structure. I have some new resources from a friend that I want to take my time unpacking and understanding and I know I do that best when I can put a method to the test with one of my own ideas. I think MS:L will be perfect to play around with this resource and it will be great to work with before Nanowrimo this year.

Remember, you are doing a great job and you are more than enough.

Happy Writing!

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