Revising Leah

August 1, 2008

Progress Report #6: Cycles

Filed under: Uncategorized — J.M. Reep @ 11:06 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’ve finished the second cycle of revising (I like the word “cycle” better than “phase”). If I did nothing else in the second cycle, I hopefully corrected at least 95% of the typos that were in the previous draft. The narrative got a little rough in the last five or six chapters. I think that’s because I was cutting a lot of text out of those chapters during the first cycle and so the text is still a bit shredded. One thing that I was happy about was the final chapter, specifically the last couple of pages. They aren’t completely polished yet, but I like how I’ve set up the ending.

While revising, I discovered that I accidentally identified two chapters as “Chapter 20”. Having fixed that, I now have 26 chapters total.

I’m going to take a day off, recharge, and then I’ll jump into the third cycle. This time, I’m going to try to read as much of the text out loud as I can. I’ve said before, and most writers will agree, that reading a text out loud is a very different experience than reading it silently. One can find a lot of rough spots in the text that one can’t find when reading it silently. With the narrative, plot, and characters pretty much how I want them, and with most of the typos from the first cycle of revising corrected, I’m focusing more and more on the sound and shape of the text: word choice and the rhythm of the sentences.

This work is a little tedious sometimes, but it’s also very rewarding when I revise a sentence so that it sounds so much better than it did before. I keep reminding myself that every change and correction I make improves the novel just a little bit more.


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