March 4, 2011

Revising, And It Feels So Good

I start revising last week, like I said I would. After months of planning, it's nice to be writing again. Both tasks are difficult, but actual work on the manuscript is more intense and consuming, and yet I'm able to sink into it and focus for much longer stretches and still emerge feeling great.

This revision is starting out slowly. Very slowly. At this rate, I'll be finished approximately never. I'm optimistic that the pace will pick up as I remember how to do this and get past overhauling the all-important, always difficult first chapter. Not that I'll be skimping on the care I take with the rest of the chapters, mind you! But the first chapter has to accomplish a lot, so it's especially challenging.

My novel has three separate storylines, and the chapters of these stories alternate with each other. For the first two drafts, I wrote in the order the chapters appear in the book, so I switched back and forth between stories. That way I didn't lose track of what the reader had learned so far, and I could build in the parallels and connections that are an important part of the novel.

For this third major draft, I'm doing one storyline at a time. My hope is to get fully immersed in each narrator, make sure the voice remains consistent throughout that story, and keep hold of all the threads that may have been dropped due to jumping around. I've made a detailed enough outline that I know most of the connections that need to be made between stories, so it will probably all work out. I have a good feeling about it.

Good Stuff Out There:

→ On The Marketplace of Ideas, Colin Marshall conducts fascinating interviews with people whose thoughts I want to hear. At Conversational Reading, Scott Esposito introduces me to books I might otherwise never learn about. I enjoyed listening to a conversation between the two of them on a recent Marketplace of Ideas episode.

→ Livia Blackburne looks at a study that concludes Men Prefer Reading About Men, and So Do Women.

→ On a related note, Sonya Chung at The Millions considers authors who write across the gender divide.


Anonymous said...

I like this approach, regarding the storylines. I think it's a good plan, now you have a detailed storyline and confident feeling about how it all works, to go one storyline at a time.

Anna Scott Graham said...

Good luck with those revisions!

Lisa Eckstein said...

Thanks to both of you. Revision is coming along pretty well!

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