Thursday, February 17, 2011

Writing Tip (8): A Revision Method That Works


A Character-by-Character Revision Method

Okay, I can't claim credit for this one. I came across this article last night written by Walter Dinjos on Indie Horror. He speaks about a revision method that is well suited to novels with intricate plotting that are told not only from the point of view of the protagonist but from the point of view of several other characters as well.

He picks one character and revises every scene in which he/she is the point-of-view character. Then he moves on to another character and revises all those scenes, etc etc. While trying out this method of revision he discovered eight things:

  1. Character arc. A novel is a coalescence of...
  2. Dialogue. Everybody has a way of speaking...
  3. The repetition of words and phrases. Especially words not among the three thousand most...
  4. The disappearance of an important character from the page. Has your editor ever...
  5. Too many point-of-view characters. This one pretty much explains itself. Once you've...
  6. Theme. How do your characters' stories...
  7. Boredom. I know how you feel. Revision can suck, especially when...
  8. Deus ex machine. I know miracles happen, but that doesn't give you the right to...

And if you want to know how those eight points are finished, you'll have to follow the link to the original article!


20 comments:

Megan K. Bickel said...

I think this can work for any story. I'm already seeing how I can use it with a picture book! Character development is so essential, this really forces you to focus on it!

Rachel Morgan said...

Even better if you can use it for any story :-)

The Golden Eagle said...

The novel I'm about to start revising is written from the perspective of several characters, so this method sounds helpful!

Thanks for the post!

W.B. said...

These are excellent revision tips! :)

gideon 86 said...

Thanks for the tips...

I am still revising my first novel. A LONG progress because is like the 75th time.NO kidding.

Michael

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

This sounds very interesting, but I'm a ways from revising. What I need are directions on how to get all that stuff down in the first place in a way that makes sense and keeps the reader reading :)

Carol Riggs said...

Yeah, I used to do those miracle magical endings that are so eye-rolling. A little too tidy of coincidences, those deus-ex-machine things. This is a good list! And having every character have a diff or specific way of speaking is more difficult, but WAY worth it. :)

Heather Hellmann said...

Good info! My first novel switches back and forth between two point of views so this will come in handy.

Kari Marie said...

This sounds like an excellent tip. I'll have to try it. Thanks.

Claire Gregory said...

Hey Rachel! Thanks for sharing :) I love the way you've divided your blogging days into different topics- neat idea. Fellow Crusader here, saying hi back.

Rachael Harrie said...

Ooh, that's just plain mean not finishing those sentences :P

Off to read the article now :)

Hugs,

Rach (who's trying out the cool linky thingy!)

Rachael Harrie said...

Ooh, it worked!!! ;)

Donna Weaver said...

You're good with the teaser. =D

Gina Blechman said...

oooh, this looks fantastic. My novel is told from the points of view of two characters, so I'll definately have to check this out. Thanks, fellow crusader!

<3 Gina Blechman

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Hello fellow crusader! Great tip to revise one pov character at a time. It's so important to get each voice isolated and unique, compared to the others.

Thanks for the follow! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Susan Schreyer said...

Hi fellow Crusader! Love the writing tips! Nothing like drawing your attention to something you knew, but let slip.

Hart Johnson said...

I usually have limited PoV, but I love the idea of checking for dialog consistency this way--making sure your character always sounds the same.

Theresa Milstein said...

Now I'll have to click the link!

Stasia said...

Love tip #8. Happy to have found you via the crusade & look forward to following!

Witless Exposition said...

Ah! Foiled into clicking the link! Great idea. I'll have to file this away for when I start revisions soon (well, hopefully soon).