Tuesday, June 13, 2017

An Approach To Global Revisions

Doing revisions on anything we write is not a fun process. It is a necessary evil to insure that the final product we put out there for the writers is outstanding. In many cases, revisions can be pretty simple as long as you are working with isolated problems. This could include things such as, the introduction to the story is flat, or the scene between Bob and Suzie is just a bit awkward and doesn't show the reader a lot of emotion. However, the revisions that become difficult to work with are those global revisions. These are the issues that run throughout the entire novel.

I will tell you, these can be nightmarish. Authors often run into a domino effect situation. You make changes in one area and by the time you get to chapter 6, those changes are now coming into conflict with another change that happens in the story. In some cases, those changes now create an issue where you are thinking about just throwing the entire story out and starting over.

But there is a way where you don't have to fact these issues.

When you get revisions such as this from your editor or agent (or even your critique partners) stop and look at that list first. Take the time to think it all through first and to prioritize the issues. This is not an issue of prioritizing based on the size of the project or the order in which the problems occur. It is an issue of looking to see how things fit together.

For example, if one of the issues is the conflict between the hero and the heroine not really building at a regular pace, and a second issue deals with goals and motivations of the hero, you will want to start with the single character issue first. Those issues will generally begin before the hero and heroine start forming that relationship. This is also an issue that will control the way the two of them work.

The next thing to consider is to not do all of the changes at a single time. Make that list, go through the novel and fix that one problem and then move on to the second issue. Do not try to fix all of the issues at one time. I can promise you, this will lead to psychotic issues.

What I think you will find, is that if you do take this a bit slower, this process is not so daunting. The key is to simply relax and breathe!

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