how that revision is going

June 14, 2017

I’m revising the sequel to Bannerless. (Bannerless, due out in less than a month! Read the first chapter here!)

This is the second major revision. The first was after completing the messy first draft, to make sure everything hangs together, that the plot works like it should, to implement all those changes I realized I needed to make only after I finished the whole thing. This second revision is in response to comments from my first reader, in this case my agent. His comments were good, and zeroed in on the biggest issue, which was basically a matter of intensity:  the overall structure of the novel is fine, but it needs more.  More plot, more connections, more implications, bigger stakes.  It’s a simple comment, but kind of huge from a revision standpoint.

This sort of feedback is pretty typical for me and my writing. I need multiple drafts, because I spend that first draft getting down the structure, but then I tend not to fill it with enough stuff to make the book really pop. And I usually need a first reader to point that out to me. So, it’s on to the next big draft.

This revision is going slowly, slower than I like. It feels different from previous revisions. Usually, I feel like I’m moving scenes around, messing with cause and effect, picking a few big story beats to work on. Big picture stuff. This one, I’m just about rewriting the whole thing. I’m going through it chapter by chapter, re-writing entire conversations, putting in whole other levels of meanings. Two characters are now twin sisters, when they weren’t before. That one character with the ax now has a personality just aggressive enough to suggest he’d use that ax on someone. That mysterious lurker is lurking a whole lot more.

I’m not moving scenes around. My original story structure is solid. But holy cats I’m shoving a lot more story into it. At least I hope I am. I want the finished book to feel more intense and ominous. The next stage, it goes to the editor, and we’ll see what he says about it.

I still don’t have a title on this one that everyone likes. Argh.

 

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