Alright, this needs to be said.
I have been on a hiatus of sorts. Well, it all started with a trip to China in September of last year–what? that’s like almost a year ago! I hear you yell and scream, flinging words in my face–ah, yes *shakes head in disapproval* it has been some time. BUT, in that time, oh in that time, I have done a few things. Enough to keep me SUPER busy.
First, China pics. Because, oh WOW what an amazing place.
Oh what a wall, what a great wall. The GREAT wall of CHINA. Then: sipping some genuine Chinese tea in Shanghai ‘mmm’ sweet, sweet jasmine AND relaxing in the Yu Gardens.
Okay, now that’s done, where have I been. What have I been doing?
Well, late last year I purchased Holly Lisle’s How To Revise Your Novel course. Let me tell you, this course will nearly KILL you. But it will also make you a much, much better reviser AND writer. Holy, this course will chew up your manuscript, spit it out, dissect it with knives, then a blow torch, then put what remains into a wood-chipper and spit out a totally different story.
Then you get to PAINSTAKINGLY put it all back together, arranging the pieces into a MUCH, MUCH stronger, more KICKASS story: with focused characters with clear motivations that actually make sense–having eliminated those that don’t, pacing that serves the story, scenes that have all the crucial pieces, and changing careless description into meaningful description that matters.
I could go on… for a long time… but I won’t. If you have trouble revising then this course could be a game changer. It is LONG, much longer than the 21 weeks of course materials that you get–for me at least. This will take as long as the novel needs. But it will breathe life into the revision process, giving you structure and direction.
So I began taking my WIP through this course, I got most of the way through before I realized that I wasn’t really invested in my idea any more and I knew my novel needed a total rewrite. I needed to change it from third person POV to first person to fit the story. I wanted to introduce a second POV to serve a subplot that strengthened the theme of the story. I needed to re-haul my MC’s love interest (they were way to quick to fall for one another-WAYYY). Plus the story was Dystopian, a dead fish in the sea of Young Adult novels. And the thing is, I knew I could write a much stronger story armed with the tools that I’ve learnt from writing book one, and from the HTRYN course.
So…enter current work in progress. I began plotting out this story in March of this year, let me tell you it was SO so exciting to begin this process again. I use the classic three act structure, and plot out the main plot points before I begin writing – so I outline a little to give me enough direction for where I want the story to go. I find if I outline any more than this then it stumps my creativity, and the writing can feel forced–my characters need to have enough wriggle room to make the choices that feel natural to them, scene after scene. So before I start drafting I like to have the following skeletal points nailed down:
- inciting incident
- plot point 1
- midpoint (2)
- plot point 3
- climatic moment/black moment (all hope is lost moment)
In my next post I will be discussing each of these briefly, or at least what I think they are, and where I am up to in my first draft.
Until next time…