Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ready for Revision

I cringe phyically that I dare say this out loud: I don't think this novel, Marks of Repentance, needs massive revisions. I'll do a little tidy up, send it out to critiquers, and they'll doubtless have different ideas. Oh well.

What I see so far:
More hints of what the antagonist is up to early in the book. Even though I had done a lot of pre-work on the novel, I didn't know he was the antagonist. I know, I know, that seems silly, but I thought I had thrown enough things in the way of the two main characters with their major cultural differences that the basis of conflict was covered. I didn't realize how important a role this man would play until over half way in.

Which brings me to the second problem. He got SO important he got two scenes in the last couple of chapters. I had to decide whether to give him two or three more, spaced out in the story, or eliminate the two he already had. I'm opting to remove his scenes. It took me most of today to list the vital information those scenes held and figure out where the information can be tucked. I think it can be done. I don't want to dilute what is essentially a love story by giving him too much screen time.

Thirdly, I found a couple of minor sub-plot threads that need tying off. Not all that many which was a pleasant surprise.

Fourth, description. This is always hard for me to work into a first draft, and I have mostly stopped trying. Now as I revise scene by scene I need to make sure I am encountering all the senses and laying clear foundations without going on and on. And on.

Fifth, the ever present doubling up of words, unclear pronouns, and all the other fun little nit-gritty stuff line by line. And commas. Sigh. I have a thing with commas.

I do believe that character motivations are clear enough (maybe too clear?) and that the plot follows a logical enough path, though it wasn't always the most obvious choice.

Oh, yeah. One more thing. I have a border guard in there with a lot of screen time. He was a demanding sort when I wrote the scene, so I need to be on guard (ha!) when I get back to him, and make sure his long story really works in the over all scheme of things. He is absolutely convinced he's the star of the show.

So, we'll see where this journey takes me...and how long it will be. I'd like to be done in a month, but I have no idea if it is remotely doable. I guess I'll just get started and see.


Maripat said...

It sounds like you did really good. And it might be doable. Grady's story took a little over a month. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Random Walk Writer said...

Looks good. I think you can do it.

As for the commas, wear this T-shirt while editing: Or check out either of the Comma Sutra books: and

Valerie Comer said...

Thanks, Maripat...and Erin, do I even WANT to know what the commas on that tshirt are doing? :O