November 4th, 2015

Me typing?

Writing Excuses 10.44: How Do I Fix What Is Broken?

Writing Excuses 10.44: How Do I Fix What Is Broken?

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2015/11/01/writing-excuses-10-44-how-do-i-fix-what-is-broken/

Key Points: Start revision with the big stuff. Does the story work? Is the ending satisfying? Do I like the characters? Do I want to keep reading? Then think about the best solution. Before you start eating the elephant a bite at a time, outline your revision process! Make a task list. Start with whatever you bracketed (or noted) while writing that you need to fix. Then read the book yourself, and pay attention to your reader reactions. What is awesome, what is boring, what is confusing, what is unbelievable? Identify problems, then come up with solutions, to avoid cascading. Pantsers? You may need to outline the book and figure out what you are writing. Keep a list of things to change later to keep going. Let your readers suggest problems to look at. Fix it now, or fix it later? That is the question. Use search-and-replace to put brackets around a character name to help you find all the places that need fixing. Colorcode changes! Or colorcode to check balance. Try using notecards on a cork board to make the plot visible. 
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[Brandon] But we're out of time for revision. We will come back and talk about this again in a couple of weeks. But we are going to give you some homework. This was actually one that was suggested by Nalo when she was on the podcast. We were talking about revision, and she uses something like this color method, but she uses it for senses. She suggested take... Getting six colors, printing out your manuscript or just doing it on the computer screen, and highlighting... Take the six colors. There's five senses plus movement. Anytime something's moving, you'll highlight it in one color, or someone's moving. Anytime you mention a sense, mention the color appropriate to that sense. Then see how you're doing with your descriptions and see if you have enough motion going on in your story. So that's your homework. Take a chapter and do that. Take a whole book and do that, if you want to. Take a short story and do that. This has been Writing Excuses adrift. We'd like to thank our studio audience.
[Screams, applause]
[Brandon] We would like to thank Delia. Thank you so much for being on the podcast with us.
[Delia] Thank you.
[Applause]
[Howard] Outstanding.
[Brandon] You all are out of excuses, now go revise.
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