TMHSWP: Revision and Critical Voice

As I thought, going through this area is slow and tedious.

Not only because of the changes that need to happen, but also because I am fighting the “critical voice” of the internal editor. To keep from stripping out my writing voice, I need to keep the creative voice going. Yes, even in revision.

By the way, this is different for every writer. I know some who have a horrible time keeping out the critical voice while revising and tend to revise down their work to gray-goo unless they set severely strict limits on themselves. Such as: Work on only the points they made notes on. Refrain from most rewording and focus on only big points. Set time-limits to the revision.

Others slip into revision with a creative voice easily, and are able to stay there. Most of the time I’ve noticed that these are people who have been at the writing game for quite a while.

I’m more the second than the first, although some sections still try to entrap me. Such as this one area. I think having a set deadline is also helping me. The “critical voice” doesn’t like to be constrained like this and tends to go off pouting. Fine with me! It leaves the creative side with more leeway to do what needs to be done.

For the most part, going back into the story is like replaying the movie. I just need to add in more of what my mental eye is seeing. (writing is very mentally visual for me)

This area? It’s like I’m partially reshooting these scenes of the movie while keeping in mind some of the old stuff I’m saving. For one part, it was easier to throw out what was previously written and write completely new from memory. At least then I could stay within my creative voice like when I’m writing a first draft.

I’d hoped to finish this section yesterday, but alas, it was not to be. Despite over 5k in revised words, there is still work to do. Not as much as yesterday, of course, but there are still several plot points to include.

Mother Hen is moving slow again today. The heat is zapping the energy out of all of us (101 F yesterday). She’s finishing up a nutrition drink right now, and then I hope to get her moving around a little bit.

Time to make more tea and launch into the section again. Maybe this time I’ll actually finish it. 😀

“The String Weavers” Book 3

Yesterday’s Revision Session: 5,612

Total for Novel (Out of 100k): 67,684

TMHSWP: Hitting the Hard Parts

Yep, hit the part of the novel that needs the most work.

I was able to get a lot of revision done, but hitting this section stopped me. I need a clear awake head to tackle it. Hopefully later today will be that day.

Not the worse thing in the world. I have notes made while writing the first draft of the things I need to fix. It’s just a matter of slowly working through the points and making sure to bring up this part to support not only the rest of the book, but also the rest of the series.

If I think too much about the changes to be done as a whole, it gets too overwhelming. With everything else going on, that’s a great way to freeze up. I have a time deadline with all these revisions, so I MUST reach my deadlines.

So, I’m approaching it like I do with a first draft: One tiny step at a time.

I’ll take each of those notes at a time and put them in. Then cycle through this problem area/part again to put in the next note. Definitely not worry about getting them all in at once. That’s too much to keep in my head at one time.

One little note and paragraph at a time, until it gets done. 🙂

It’s exciting that the main big revision pass is now over the half-way point!

Yesterday’s Revision Session: 11,576
Total for Novel (Out of 100k): 62,072

TMHSWP: Back In the Saddle

All of Mother Hen’s doctor appointments on Wednesday derailed a bunch of things. Of course, the revision got caught in the aftermath.

Tonight I sat down about 10PM, determined to at least get 1000 words revised. something to keep from getting behind on the deadline!

I ended up working on the revision for about an hour and forty-five minutes despite repeated dive-bombing of the suicidal little black bugs (where are they coming from?!?!). Kept telling myself I could do just one more paragraph. Oh, look, the next scene is short! I can do that too…

Yeah, it all adds up.

Today’s Revision Session: 5,186

Total for Novel (Out of 100k): 50,496

Now off to bed. Mother Hen has been tired and it’s important for me to be awake when she is.

TMHSWP: Great Thoughts Forgotten

I’m annoyed at myself this morning.

Thought of a story point I needed to put into the revision just as I was dozing off last night. “Oh, I’ll remember it in the morning. It’s so OBVIOUS! No need to get out of bed and write it down.” And guess what?

Oh yeah. You can guess.

I have absolutely no clue what the point was this morning. Going through the last scene hasn’t yielded any clues.

As a writer friend said today, “And what makes it even more annoying is the fact you remember that you thought about the great idea, but you can’t remember the great idea itself.”

Sigh. I need to get that pad and paper back on the bed-stand.

As for the revision session yesterday, it went well but slow. At least, slower than the previous couple of days. Many reasons for it, including suicidal bugs flying at my face, at the monitor, into my glasses, up my nose, then sending in a family member when they met their fates (You kill my brother! Prepare to die!).

Yesterdays Revision Session: 4,642

Total for Novel (Out of 100k): 45,310

I’m going to try to get more revision in today, as tomorrow will be lost in doctor appointments. It’s time for scheduling Mother Hen’s treatment and we’ll get more details from the hospital about how they are going to help us. Big update for today: the chemo meds are on their way to us right now.

Thank you to everyone who has given help to us with her care. The money is going directly to pay for those appointments. Mother Hen has had tears in her eyes several time over the generosity from people she doesn’t know. To all of you she is giving big virtual hugs!

Mother Hen’s Go Fund Me page.

Click Here to use Paypal

TMHSWP: Scrivener Revision

How do I know how many words I’ve revised in my big revision pass? Let me show you.

When I am finished with a first draft, I move it out of the Scrivener “Manuscript” folder into a new folder called “First Draft.” I do not change anything with it. I keep the original draft around just in case I ever need to go back to see what I did, or to revert.

In the “Manuscript” folder, I then start creating folders and files for the finished books. Each folder is a chapter, with the files inside individual scenes. Most times a folder will have only one scene/file in them, but occasionally I do get chapters with more than one POV’s in them (especially in the Salmon Run series).

Only then do I start revising.

Scrivener Revising

Above is a screenshot of the current revision in a Scrivener project. On the left is the Binder where you can see the chapters and scene/files for the next String Weavers novel. To the right are two Panes, one on top of the other. I love Scrivener’s ability to have Panes. For revision I set it up with horizontal Panes.

The bottom Pane is the first draft. I bring up each scene individually and then copy and paste each part I want to use into the top Pane, which is my finished revised scene/files. I make changes only in the top Pane, as that is what will end up in the finished novel. The first draft is left untouched (other than copy and pasting out of it).

By doing this, Scrivener’s Targets and Statistics can tell me exactly how many words I’ve gone through and revised. It also allows me to set targets and deadlines for the big revision pass, helping me to keep on track. This is especially important right now when time is an issue.

No, this won’t tell me how much I revised, technically, because some sections need a lot of work, while some only a little, but it does allow me to keep track of progress somehow. I like this method better than keeping track of hours (which is why I don’t do NaNoEdMo anymore).

What you don’t see here is a text document hovering somewhere to the right with the revision notes I made while writing the first draft. As I mentioned before, I write down revision thoughts and things to fix while writing the first draft, but I don’t go back and change those things right then. It’s only now while doing the big revision pass that I start making those changes.

As for today’s revision session?

Today was a lot slower. I started out the day by finding a time-line problem that originated in the first book. Oops! yes, it’s fixed, by changing a small part of what happened at the beginning of book 3. Took about two hours and an extra 800 words, though!

After that, the revision went a lot smoother. The biggest problem I had was feeling weary, but that’s to be expected considering what is happening in our lives right now. The Arizona heat is really getting to us right now, affecting Mother Hen, as well. The AC can barely keep up with it, and it’s only in the 90’s. There is a reason we like to leave the area come summer, but this year it isn’t an option. We need to keep her close to treatment.

To help Mother Hen, I got out the Kindle. Turns out, she went to one of her ‘comfort’ stories, this time in the form of the “Children of Jad Omnibus.” It makes me feel proud and honored that she likes a few of my stories so much that she goes back to them time and time again to read. Talk about a huge compliment!

Today’s Revision Session: 14,189

Total for Novel (Out of 100k): 40,668


J.A. Marlow

TMHSWP: Scrivener RevisionChildren of Jad Omnibus

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