Dance, revise, it’s all the same.
It’s finding the rhythm, weaving the patterns. Making art out of good ideas.
Haven’t been around much because of some legitimate reasons and some lazy reasons, but I’m here now, kids. And we’re going taking a ride on the revision train. Let me punch your ticket.
NO NO WE WILL NOT LET THIS HAPPEN.
My tracks might be a little bumpy, but no catastrophic failures are allowed.
I’m going to loosely keep you up to date on what I’m doing, not because I’m such an expert, but because what I do might spark something that tweaks your own process for the better. We’re all learning.
I write in chapters. Not everyone does. I have a couple of critique partners who don’t. (One has a BIG DEAL AGENT NOW.) I need the structure of chapters to keep my plot chunks straight. I also like the ZINGO of dramatic chapter endings that make the reader either turn the page as fast as he can or put the book down and go, “whoa”.
So most of my manuscript has not been printed out. Oh, it’s been backed up on the external hard drive, baby. If you don’t have a big-deal terabyte external hard drive bought for your birthday by your darling children, you should be backing up on a thumb drive or in Dropbox or Google docs or some Cloud of some sort. You can even email your chapters to yourself, the old fashioned way.
As I print out my chapters I remember that–oh yeah–I rewrote some of them, and have three chapter sixes, four chapter twelves…and I curse myself for saving them as, “chap6bob.doc, chap6toobob.doc, chap6imeanitbob.doc”.
At least I saved them all in the same folder. THE SAME FOLDER.
So today I will find the most recently revised rendition of each chapter, print and collate them all together in a physical file.
Because my next step is to go through every chapter and write on an index card what happens in that chapter.