Monday, July 13, 2015

What I learned from revising GRIMOIRE


What I learned from revising GRIMOIRE

1. I do not always place events in their proper order. The problem is I get them close which makes the issue harder to spot. I spent a lot of time moving things around, especially in the middle. All that cutting and pasting meant reworking transitions from one scene to the next. I spent a lot of time on this part.

2. I do write a good beginning. There was very little revising to be done there except I re-inserted the original prologue - and then removed it again. As much as I love the prologue, it just doesn’t work. Dammit.

3. I had a weak climactic scene in the last third of the novel involving a trap that needed to be entirely re-worked. It was lame and unbelievable and hard to fix. I’m much happier with it now.

4. I had an event near the end I glossed over and put right all too quickly. My CP suggested upping the ante and I did. That was a fun fix.

5. I needed more period detail to place the reader in the time. This was hard because too much detail bogs everything down while too little makes the reader wonder where they are. I hope I added just the right amount.


So. Tell me about your experience revising. What have you learned lately?

21 comments:

  1. I can't imagine cutting and moving things around. I would confuse myself.
    I've learned that I'm not going to get details in the first draft, so don't stress it.

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  2. I've had to cut and paste sections before, especially when my word count was too high and I had to do major revisions. Glad you learned from your revisions.

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  3. I like the sound of the changes you've made. You know GRIMOIRE is one of my favorites of your work! I have learned that while writing a first draft I tend to deliver information in the wrong places -- too soon, too late -- and I move them around in later drafts. Sometimes I put the same piece of information repeatedly into a first draft until I figure out where it really goes.

    For example, in my current WIP, my MC had a revelation in the first third of the book. Then I thought it would be better if he realized this in the second third of the book. Now I see that the tension would be MUCH better if he doesn't figure this out until after the climax. If he knows it going into the climax ... POOF, there goes the tension.

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  4. I think I tend to gloss over important events too. Sometimes I find it's hard to know when to stop or when to keep going. Make sense?

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  5. I haven't been in revision mode in a while. But for the last one I worked on, I found that I tend to reveal things a little early and that reworking certain revelations later in the story worked to build tension and keep reader interest.

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  6. Usually my characters flesh out as far as their voices as I move along in the story. I always have to go back and make them more consistent over the course of the novel.
    Susan Says

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  7. Beginnings are the worst for me. And sometimes I get through the middle by writing out of order. It is fun to see all the mistakes made in cutting and pasting. I have to waste paper and print out my revisions or I miss those huge glaring errors. My worst mistake is leaving gaps in conversations or action due to jumping over things in the middle of writing. I'll have a thought on an earlier scene, go back to fix it so I don't forget, but forget where I was just before that.

    Yep, always have to print out the book before calling it revised and edited :)

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  8. Today I wrote a new pancake bake using a homemade flour that I made. I learned that the next batch, needs more cinnamon but the science bit, I got right (proper percentage of leavening agent to liquid and flour).

    I love learning. Do you enjoy it?

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  9. Learning is always good. And I do love learning about the craft of my heroes - writers. Thank you.

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  10. It's great when the novel comes together.

    My writing group informed me that I shouldn't use "ick". Kind of a long story as to where that was located, but they didn't like the word. But I love it! Sigh.

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  11. On the novel I am currently shopping, I re-wrote the first chapters so many times I lost count. I do OK in the middle though. Had to up the ante at the end.

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  12. Sounds like you having it under control... Happy to hear it's all working.

    I'm in RE-WRITE mode now... UGG... My first novel. Decided to do a complete haul on it and use it for LA conference I'm attending in a few weeks.

    SO much work, but it's worth the effort.

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  13. I'm in the process of re-editing my debut novel. Hopefully making it better. My first 3 chapters, like you, are usually good. I don't like the middle to drag, and since I write ya, I want to keep it fast and quick. Good Luck...

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  14. I'm always great at beginnings. The middles are what get me!

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  15. LOL! I hear you about moving scenes around. In my last book there was a wedding that started 1/3 the way in, moved to the end, then jumped to the 2/3 mark. I tell you, that was fun.

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  16. Wow! I couldn't imagine move scenes around like that! While writing, everything comes out all at once and in order. If I think of a scene for later, I'll write it up elsewhere and insert it while editing. This doesn't happen much though!
    That's the problem I have with writing historical fiction. I don't write it because I worry I'd bog it down with too much research because I absolutely would over-research it.

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  17. #1 is my biggest nemesis. You described it perfectly for me. I, too, seem to displace a scene here and there (mostly in the first 1/4 of the book), but they're so closely related that I often take forever to figure out my mistake. I guess you could say it's laying the early foundation. I put a layer of bricks and then some mortar and more mortar without laying another layer of bricks first. Grr.... Thanks for sharing what you've learned! It always helps to see someone else writing it down.

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  18. how do you pronounce GRIMOIRE, dear? And how would I translate it? LOL

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    1. A Grimoire is a book of magic, pronounced grim-oire - it's a french word so the second syllable is more like waar. Does that help?

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    2. so it ain't a mémoire but grimoire :)

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