Monday, September 7, 2009

What I plan to accomplish with this blog

Ok, so this is starting to sound a little like a high school research paper already ... I promise to curb that quick!  But I do want to lay out the purpose and general structure of this blog, for my own benefit, it no one else's.  As I think I alluded to yesterday, I'm doing this as a way to motivate myself to stay on track with my novel revision process.  I had no problem staying motivated while writing, but that was because it was all so creative.  This feels much more like work to me for some reason.  (Hopefully once I'm in the thick of it, it will feel creative again.)

The plan for this blog:  
  • To chronicle my novel revising journey by offering others helpful tips and lessons-learned -the-hard-way on how to go about it.  My goal is to blog at least once a week, because let's face it, nobody is going to want to read a day-by-day account of this process!
The plan for revising my manuscript:
  1. Read the relevant chapters of the "how to revise your novel" book that my mom was so considerate as to get me.  I probably would not have even considered such a thing had she not thought of it, and I'm hoping it will make this whole process seem a bit more approachable and cohesive.  And by relevant chapters, I mean the stuff that I think applies to my particular writing skills (and lack thereof).  After receiving a substantial amount of feedback from my amazingly sharp friends, I have come to learn that I definitely have certain strengths (relatable characters, plot, pacing, structure) but I also have clear weaknesses (tendencies toward predictability, tone, scene-setting, and my biggest challenge ... showing not telling!)
  2. Go back and do more research.  Because I'm working on a period piece, this is, of course, essential.  While I did a multitude of research while I was writing (any time I had even a vague doubt as to the accuracy of something, I researched it), most of that was done on the internet, with only a few calls to local historical societies and the like.  My next step is to plant myself in the county historical society one morning and not emerge until I have stumbled upon some previously unknown gem of information.  I also plan to browse the historical magazines that 2 members of my 5 Brilliant Editors team have recommended.
  3. Now is a good time to explain the role of my 5BE team.  I have five dear friends who have taken the time to not only read my book, but to patiently provide me with detailed feedback on what they read.  They have also agreed to help me through the revision process by acting as a sounding board for my new ideas.  Which leads me to step 3 ... I will periodically be emailing the 5BE team questions based on the feedback they have already provided, as well as whatever new inspiration pops into my mind.
  4. Re-read my manuscript with a thick red pen in hand.  This step is pretty self-explanatory.
  5. Start revising.  Hopefully what this actually entails will be clearer to me once I come to this step.
You may have noticed that I have not created any deadlines.  This goes against my nature somewhat, as I was all about strict deadlines when I was writing.  I've decided to approach the re-write a little differently.  Of course I have to get started and stick to it, but I'm going to give myself a little breathing room if I feel I need it.  That's another reason why this blog is useful ... if I find myself writing "Not much to report" for 3 weeks in a row, I'll be shamed into getting off my lazy bum and doing something blogworthy the following week!

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