So I’ve written a lot this year, right? People might think it’s a little insane to have written or rewritten 11 books in a year but they are all basically first drafts, except for the 3 that I chunked and rewrote and I’m not sure how to characterize them.
But what I have learned is that I’ve got a technique now for revising that I did not have at the beginning of the year. So onward to the object lesson.
I wrote The Last Sunrise in February-March timeframe. My first foray into paranormal (good versus evil and the book of revelation, along with a couple of sexy almost fallen angels) and I really loved the idea. But, when I finished in in February, I put it away. I wrote a query for it and tucked it into my Books file.
At some point in September, I pulled it back out and read through it IN WORD. I have learned a new trick that works for me in that I write in Scrivener but I edit almost exclusively in Word. I have no idea why it works but it seems to be so I’m sticking with it for now.
Anyway, read through it and chunked about 2/3 of the novel and once more, started over, including the opening scene that I LOVED. Finished the new draft, which is now titled Resurrection (yes this happens in the book and both my mom and my aunt are going to disown me for the blasphemy) and once more, put it away.
Except I didn’t. I finished it about three weeks ago and have now opened the Word document today and started revising. While the essential plot remains the same, the revisions are pretty extensive layering, smoothing and tightening. One thing the army has taught me and I’m now able to see in my writing is that just because something makes sense to me, doesn’t mean it came out that clear. I see that in my sentences now and have started working to smooth them out.
So I’ve learned something about myself. I have to write a complete first draft to figure out what the story actually is. Then write THAT book. Then revise and clean up. Thankfully, of the 7 books I’ve got written, 4 are in the second round draft right now, so with any luck, when I finally do get around to revising, the drafts are cleaner, tighter and don’t involve massive deleting of texts.