Monday, July 13, 2009

Revisions, Chapter 1

Over lunch today, I began revising (again) the novel in progress (current working title: Hip-Hip-Horatio. Look for that to change). Step one was to cut 5200 words of backstory from the beginning of Chapter One. Step two was to rewrite the first couple of sentences of what came next, it being now the beginning of the book. My new first sentence is better than my original first sentence, I think. Step three (in progress) is to read onward from where I'm now starting, to see how things flow from the new beginning of the story.

I'm trying not to do any line-editing, as the book should be in pretty good shape in that regard already. I'm just looking at big-picture things, long-range structure and the like. I also have a couple of new scenes I want to add in here and there, and I'd like to take a look at two scenes near the end of the book. But on the whole, I don't think there's nearly as much work to be done as I feared. Which comes as something of a relief, I don't mind telling you. Though possibly after I write my "to do" list for this rewrite, I will be afraid.

17 comments:

  1. If there were only a way to capitalize on our efforts revising, we would all be rich. And I don't mean capitalizing on the end results of the revisions (i.e. the publishable work of literary greatness (or genre greatness with a highly literary slant, as my case may be)). I mean the nitty-gritty nuts and bolts or editing and revising our works.

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  2. Good luck, Scott. You have a great system from what I've seen so far. So trust it! I'm still trying to figure out my system. :)

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  3. Rick: The revision process is its own reward, because the pain of it builds character.

    Michelle: I'll be interested to see if my system works the way I want it to. I'll let you know.

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  4. Congrats on writing once again. I take it things have settled down - a bit - with the new house! Best of luck.

    Scott

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  5. Scott: My official "writing room" isn't finished yet (some issues with the floor--don't ask), but I will make time during lunch breaks and on the bus commute. We'll see how that goes. Thanks for the luck!

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  6. You are so organized for your cuts and rewrites. That's fantastic. Good luck in getting it all ship shape.

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  7. Well, what can I add to the congratulatory remarks? Not much appears to be the answer. Keep working hard and I hope the floor of your writing room is finished soon.

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  8. Scott, I'm excited to learn how you decided to open the story and what your new first sentence should be. Hip-Hip-Horatio is pretty funny, I have to admit. I feel like as we get farther into our projects, revisions, even large ones, don't take as much time as we think they will. I think if you've worked hard already, some of that has to be reflected in the writing long before the final edits.

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  9. Davin: I'm not really sure how long this will take, now that I've given my new first chapter a good looking over. I have a feeling that I'll be writing a lot of new scenes, actually. Anyway, new first sentence:

    I was angry.

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  10. The "to do" may infuriate you.

    So, "I was angry," or "Rage flooded my leg bones!"?

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  11. "Enraged, I dove headfirst into the raging river of rage. I were mighty put out, I were."

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  12. I thought you were joking about that "I was angry" line when you mentioned it a couple of weeks ago. Hmmm...I'm skeptical, Bailey. But, I'm wiling to go with it for now.

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  13. Davin: I was just being pissed off and sarcastic when I came up with "I was angry" in our email exchange, but now I realize that it's the perfect first line, so I'm going with it. You'll see.

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  14. Davin: Actually, I've changed my mind about the first line. Now it's:

    "I marched through the burse to the door of his room and banged loudly with both fists."

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  15. I hope your optimism become the truth about how much work you have to do. I often think that and find myself wrong. I enjoyed this post.

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