Revising Leah

August 30, 2008

Trying a Different Revising Strategy (Progress Report #7)

Filed under: Uncategorized — J.M. Reep @ 2:28 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve moved on to the fourth cycle of revision. I never did finish reading the entire text out loud like I planned for the third cycle, in part because I kept getting sidetracked by the poorly written narration that I was finding. For instance, a week or two ago, when I read out loud the chapter in which Leah meets Megan, I found that the scene just wasn’t doing it for me. The plan for the scene was fine, but I just wasn’t executing it very well in the text that I had written.

So I’m taking a different tack this time. Up to this point, I’ve been trying to revise at a normal reading pace. That is, I read the text as though I were simply reading for pleasure. When I came across a sentence or a word that needed to be fixed, then I’d either stop and fix it or, if I couldn’t think of a good way to fix it, I’d highlight it and come back to it later.

But because I kept finding so many trouble spots, I’ve decided to slow things down in this new cycle. I’ve been reading just one chapter a day, and what I try to do is read that chapter twice before I move on to the next one. This gives me a chance to read the chapter, take a break and think about it for a while, and then come back to it. This strategy isn’t necessarily a better way to revise, but it is a different tactic that allows me to approach my text in a different way. Reading at a normal pace and covering two or three chapters a day, as I tended to do in the earlier cycles, helped me see the big picture of novel, while reading one chapter and then reading it again let’s me pay more attention to the details of the text.

This new tactic has resulted in a LOT of changes to the narration. I’ve been rephrasing and rewriting much of the transitional narration between plot points and I’ve rethought and revised much of the descriptive detail. The result is that scenes like the one where Leah meets Megan now sound much better when I read them.

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