"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison

Friday, March 31, 2017

Revising My Novel (in 31 Days?)

During March of this year, I decided to try Janice Hardy's At-Home Workshop to Revise Your Novel in 31 Days.
It was a well-intentioned plan.  I had have a manuscript that needs to be edited, I had a month, and now I had a plan.  I immediately started the prep work of making an editorial map.  It was exciting, and illuminating, work.

I started by printing my manuscript.  This was when I realized that even though I have written the end of the story, I have not yet typed it up (that's right, even now at the end of the month, I still have not typed the ending).  I like to write by hand and later type my words.  I've always liked filling journals and notebooks with handwritten words; I don't think I will ever stop liking it.  The ending to my story is still waiting in one of those notebooks.  Luckily I know which one.

I was not going to let that one tiny missing part of the story hold me back.  I trudged forward and started reading and creating my editorial map.... and immediately realized that this manuscript needs a lot of work, and I mean a lot.  I read through the prologue and ten chapters, answering the questions that Janice suggests:

  • What is the POV character trying to do in this scene? (the goal)
  • Why is she trying to do it? (the motivation for that goal)
  • What’s in the way of her doing it? (the conflict)
  • What happens if she doesn’t do it? (the stakes)
  • What goes wrong (or right)? (how the story moves forward)
  • What important plot or story elements are in the scene? (what you need to remember or what affects future scenes)
  • from Janice Hardy's How to Create an Editorial Map

and also adding notes about revisions that needed to occur.  I quickly realized that the prologue and the first chapter needed to be cut.  The book will begin with chapter 2, which needs a lot of work.

And then I stopped.

Not many people knew that I was trying to revise my novel.  I had mentioned it on a writing forum; no one else knew.  A few weeks into March, someone on the writing forum asked how my editorial map was going.  Ummmm.... great, I'll get right back to it.  Soon.

I really should get back to revising.  What is stopping me?  I am sitting here on the last day of my spring break.  Spring break.  A whole week with nothing to do.  And still I did not revise.  The plan failed, and I think I know why.  There was no accountability.  I have a tendency to procrastinate, especially if no one is holding me to a deadline.  

So I am making a new-ish plan.  You, my blog readers, will hopefully help me with my accountability.  I still plan to follow all the steps of Janice Hardy's revision plan, but at a slower pace.  I am allowing myself a week for each step.  I will post a weekly update on my progress as I slowly revise this manuscript and I will type the ending.  Let's see how this new-ish revision plan goes.  I am new-ishly excited!!  If you are interested in joining me in a slower version of the revision plan, I pinned all of the steps to a Pinterest board (If only I were always this organized).

Have you ever tried Janice Hardy's 31 day plan?
Are you interested in joining me on this journey?

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