It’s summer. I’ve got a book going live in a couple of weeks and there are family issues to attend. So, this Wednesday post is directing you back to an eight-week blog post series I wrote a long while ago. It’s my version of revising your manuscript. I call it re-visioning.
Re-visioning Your Story: week 1
Revision is probably the single most difficult thing a writer must do. Now, I know some of you are going to remind me that there are those who advise not to revise, except to editorial demand. I believe there are some writers out that who have so internalized the process that for them there is little or no revision needed. I’m not one of those writers . . . yet.
Am I an expert on revision? I don’t claim to be an expert. Or to know THE ONE WAY to revise. But, I have done a lot of revision – the wrong way. I have also read tons of how to write books and blogs, and taken more than a few classes. I’ve had a few stories published and I have taught a few writing classes. So I’d like to share what I’ve learned with you. Read more.
Are Your Character’s Goals Golden?
Goals are what make your characters strong or weak, sympathetic or not, and finally, goals in opposition create conflict. Read more.
Conflict: Twist the Knife Slowly
Violence is not Conflict. It is not action. It is not bickering, or worry, or dreams, or traveling. Unfortunately, many seasoned and novice writers mistake one or all of those things for conflict. Read more.
Do Your Characters Play Well with Others
Every character in your story must be there for a purpose. A story is not like life where you meet random people that appear and disappear without disturbing your world. Every character should serve your story by doing the work of the story. Read more.
As the Plot Turns
Plot is a series of scenes where something changes, each scene building intensity and tension, increasing your reader’s sense of foreboding, until there is a devastating fear that your focal character may not attain his goal, followed by a release of tension in a satisfying manner. Read more:
Is There a Time and Place in Your Story?
Getting the time and place right is like the difference between Sleeping Beauty’s castle and Windsor castle. Read more.
From the End to the Beginning
No amount of convincing characters, intricate or thrilling plot, nor vivid story world construction can overcome a poorly crafted story end. And a failed ending of your story will cause an agent, editor, or reader to put down the book never to pick up another of your stories. But a great ending will reward your reader with an emotional payoff. Hooked, he’ll eagerly seek out more of your stories. So how do you construct a great ending? Re-visioning your ending will make it stronger. Read more.
Putting the Pieces Together
PIt’s been a long haul, but you’ve analyzed your story for seven long lessons, from Character Goals to Plot Twists to the End and the Beginning. Now it’s time for putting the pieces together. Finally, it’s time to fix it. What? You’re worried that you can’t fix it or that fixing it will destroy what you loved about it? Take a deep breath. You’ve done your homework, right? No reason to worry. You have all the tools you need to shine it up and fall in love with it all over again. Read more:
I hope you enjoyed these. The thing about these posts is that you can also use them to create a story. Instead of re-visioning it becomes envisioning your story. Think I’ll use these to help me get the next novel written. How about you?
Nice! I remember this series, and recommend it to any new readers who’ve discovered this blog since then. I also plan to review it, since you’re right–it’s as good for ENvisioning as REvisioning.
Thanks for re-posting a classic series!
Thank you, Jan. It’s nice to know that others find this useful.