Posts Tagged ‘writing craft’

Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.




By Writing Instructor Mary Buckham

Writers need to juggle a number of details when creating story from concept to novel ready—plot structure, characterization, point of view, dialogue, pacing and more. So it’s easy to understand how many writers can overlook establishing and maintaining the overall context of where the story is unfolding for the reader.

The more we, as writers, get into a story the easier to overlook what might be missing on the page. Some writers think . . .

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Romancing the Genres blog

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Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

Here from one of our favorite bloggers is some information about the revision process.

Secrets, Shortcuts, Tips, and Practical Advice on Writing Fiction

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 2015 — Characters Who Matter

#6 Revision is a Process

This is Part 6 of a 12-part series on Revision is a Process @ 2015 All Rights Reserved

There are characters in fiction so real, so palpable, that we can reach out and touch them our whole lives.


So, you wrote your story or novel and now in the revision process, it’s time to look at the most common things that might have


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Photo by C.D. Hersh (c) 2012

For the past couple of weeks, my husband and I have been working on removing path stones and laying a paver stone edging along the north walkway of our yard. Originally the path had square, concrete paver stones, set in the middle of beige gravel, to keep us from walking in a rather wet area. The area around the path was soggy dirt when we first built it. Recently, we decided to use the path stones elsewhere. They had become a trip hazard for me. Besides, I was tired of the scruffy look of the grass against the path edge.

When we laid the gravel path seven years ago it looked trim and neat. Of course there wasn’t much grass along the curving edge, so neat was to be expected. After seeding the lawn, and being lax in trimming the edge (it’s hard to run a weed wacker along gravel), we lost lots of ground to creeping rhizomes, which required a lot of hard digging to remove.

As we began digging up against the plastic paver edge and pulling hunks of matted grass up, two thoughts came to my mind:

  • What you originally envision isn’t always the best thing.
  • We should have done this seven years ago and saved ourselves a couple of weeks of hard labor redoing the path.

This, I told myself, is why you think a project through and let it simmer before you start making major changes. It’s also the reason you don’t send your articles, books or any other written work out to an editor as soon as the ink dries on the paper. You need to take time to make sure you’ve thoroughly revised it.

Stories change over the time frame it takes to write them … it’s the nature of the beast. Even if you have what you believe to be the best plotted synopsis or chapter graphs, it’s amazing how many errors and problem you will find in your manuscript when you let it rest after you write The End. I’m not recommending you wait seven years (like we did with the pathway) before pulling out your book for revision, although I have done that with a couple of things and discovered the book wasn’t as good as I thought I was. Boy, was that an eye opener! I am, however, suggesting you give yourself at least a week before rereading, revising, and routing your work to an editor.

Ask yourself these questions when you look at your work again:

  • Have I made any amateur mistakes: misspelled words, bad grammar, incorrect punctuation, the wrong word count or slant for the target market?
  • Do all of my scenes have a beginning, middle and an end? Are they necessary to the story?
  • Are my words weak? Do I have too much passive voice, too many repetitious words, too many adverbs?
  • Do I have too much back story? Is it an info dump or sprinkled through the pages?
  • Do I have enough conflict? Every scene needs conflict. If it doesn’t have conflict then get rid of it.
  • Have I tied up all the subplots?
  • Have I missed any elements I started with but eliminated or changed along the way? Perhaps I dropped character from the story and he shows up later, or the story was set in Chicago and changed it to Cincinnati halfway through. Are my characters’ eyes and hair still the same color?
  • And, last, but not least—is this piece the best I can possibly make it? Will it hold up to the test of time?

Our pathway didn’t hold up to the test of time. We didn’t create the best thing we possibly could for that spot, hence our need to redo it. When we began installing the path, we didn’t see creeping grass, an impossible edge to trim, and paver stones that created big stumbling blocks, and as a result we ended up with a huge revision of the path.

Lessons learned? Number one: Expect change. The only constant in life is change. Number two: Think it through—completely through—before you begin, and any revisions you have to make will be a lot easier.

That applies to books as well as home projects.

Do you have any revision stories that could have been made easier with a bit more thought?

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