Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Revision notes

A glimpse here into my novel revision process... I've been writing myself a lot of notes! Usually after getting out of the shower (where much of my inspiration comes to me) muttering "Must write that down! Must write that down!"

Having completed the first draft, the next stage is to go through and make sure I've included everything I want to include (descriptors, emotions, foreshadowing) and check the logic of the plot flow. That means working backwards a lot of the time - I know for sure that Egan has to have a gun in scene X, so where did it come from? Is it the same as the one he had in scene M? But didn't he have that knocked out of his hand? So either he must have picked it up again (alteration) or it's a different one he got in scene T (alteration), but in the latter case then he wasn't using it to threaten someone in scene O, and if I take out that threat then how do I draw attention to the drawer he got the gun out of which happens to contain something else important?
... and so on.

Checking your plot backward (A happens because B has happened because C happened etc) is one of the best writing tips I've heard. It shows up plot holes SOOOOO well.


Madeline Moore said...

Thank you Janine. That IS useful.
I have a friend who is a first AD in the movie biz and she tells me every so often she's the only one there who DOES know why they have the gun or where they got it from. (And they shoot out of sequence!)

Kate Douglas said...

That's a terrific idea! (Reading backwards) I generally just take notes as I read and then try and find what they refer to when I get to the end. There's a lot of rereading in my editing process.

Looking forward to this next one, though I know that no matter how you finish the trilogy, I'm going to miss these characters. They're much too real to let them easily go.

And I'm quite fond of semi-colons, too. Sometimes they just seem to make a sentence float; other times, they bog it down in the muck, but they're never dull.

Janine Ashbless said...

God, continuity must be a nightmare in moviemaking ... it's bad enough in a novel!

I tried hard to find the article that revealed the "plot backward" tip to me, but I couldn't, so sorry. But yes, chain of causation!

And thank you Kate - I really hope this last book lives up to expectations! <3