- Finish the chapter on characterization in my how-to book by the end of this week.
- RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. My cursory internet trolling while writing the novel didn't cut it, so I have ordered a number of books that I think will greatly aid me in fleshing out the essence of the time period. Several of my Brilliant Editors felt that my novel lost some of its 1920s feel in parts, and could have been taking place in modern day. That's not good! My challenge is to maintain a steady and unmistakable Jazz Age backdrop, without seeming gimicky. I also plan to visit the local historical society library in the next week or so to get a better flavor of this particular region during that period. My research will likely be ongoing, and I will continue to trudge forward with the next steps while I'm reading.
- Storyboard each viewpoint character's narrative. This is going to be a time-consuming and incredibly valuable endeavor. I need to chart the storylines for all 6 characters, paying special attention to their motivations, personality traits, and dynamic interactions with one another. This will be the first time I will be reading my book with a "slash-and-burn" mentality. In other words, I'm not going to be approaching my manuscript with a pencil for tweaking lines here and there. It's bold red pen time!
- Storyboard a new narrative plan. I'm already committed to re-writing my whole novel. I believe that not only will the characters benefit from this, but my style and tone in general will benefit. That's not to say that I won't lift passages from my first draft, but at this stage, I'm beginning to see my first version as a 400 page character biography. It provides an excellent road map for the task I'm about to undertake, but it in itself is not a publishable product.
FIGURING IT OUT AS I GO: Get a game plan, and don't be afraid to revisit and rework it. Staying organized is what enabled you to finish your novel, and it's going to be the only way you're ever going to navigate through the murky world that is novel revision!