Monday, May 2, 2011

Ring Around the Revision Rosie

Larry and I devised plan to complete the novel’s revision in three months—we will go through three chapters a week, which I didn’t think that sounded too bad, until I realized that’s about 30 pages. Thirty pages looks like a lot!
Haven’t we already been revising, you ask? Why yes, but now we’re in the final, longest stage.

Stage 1) Larry read through the printed manuscript and made notes.
Stage 2) I read through the manuscript and made notes.
Stage 3) Together we went through the critique group’s comments and made notes.
Stage 4) Incorporate the comments and changes into the manuscript.

Part of the challenge is that the three sets of comment notes (mine, his, and the group’s) don’t always agree on what we should do. That’s when Larry and I have to discuss pros and cons of each change, what we are trying to accomplish with that scene, and how/if it will affect later scenes in the novel. That’s what eats up the time at our weekly meetings.
Although we’re only in our second week of Stage 4, the pattern that looks to be forming is this:
·         Larry reads through that week’s chapters and makes/denotes changes we’ve discussed, and e-mails them to me.
·         I go through and make the grammar and line by line changes recommended by the seasoned editor in our critique group.
·         Then I run it back past Larry one more time to make sure we caught everything.
·         Once I get his approval, it goes into our revision folder and we move on to the next set of chapters.

Yes, we knew this would be difficult. Yes, it is possible we may have to rethink our aggressive timetable—three chapters a week may be too much. Our goal is to have the revisions made and out to Beta readers in three months, and I really don’t want to stretch it out any longer than that.
Then when we get the comments back from Beta readers, we’ll get to revise.

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