I know writing "the end" on your first draft of a manuscript is pretty exciting ... but certain elements of the revision process thrill me just as much. It's like working a jigsaw puzzle ... but certain parts of the picture change during the process and you must adapt and move with it.
Quite awhile ago (sorry, I can't remember when or where) I came across a writer's blog that featured pictures of her revision process: pages spread out on the floor and taped across a wall. I remember being shocked and thinking, "Sheesh! That looks like a LOT of work!" So, I never tried that approach for myself. ha. Why work? Writing is supposed to be fun! :)
However, I've been in the trenches revising and revamping one of my manuscripts. And I needed a new approach. I needed to see the conversations between the main character and the "bad guy" in a new light. I needed my brain to process the information differently. Find something ...
And I remembered those crazy pictures of pages taped to a wall.
So, I printed out all of the conversations between my main character and three other characters (one is the real bad guy and two are potential bad guys to keep the reader guessing). I even used different colored paper to help me quickly spot who was participating in the conversation.
And I taped them to the wall:
I doubted the process and the time invested, but I went through the WHITE pages first ... twice ... and it wasn't until the third pass that my brain clicked and saw the words in a different way.
I had a big AHA moment. YAY!
I quickly started to scribble modifications in pencil. And then I grabbed a blue highlighter and started to write the emotions on the pages in big letters so I could stand back and see the progression of the relationship. I used red stars to mark certain types of moments and yellow stars to mark others. Then I attacked the colored pages.
This morning, I went through the pages on the wall again and was thrilled to realize how well everything now flows. Success!
Was it worth the effort? Absolutely.
Will I do it again ... only if necessary! :)
What's your most extreme method for revising?