Revising My WIP
Remember that forty days and forty nights thing?
Only…I was just on vacation, camping and stuff. When we got back I had a ton of things to catch up on. But I didn’t forget my WIP. And I’ve worked on it, off and on. But, first, I read my WIP, and didn’t sick up once.
Do you have any idea how many pages and printer cartridges I used to print it? Over 350 pages, with space and a half, and all of one printer cartridge and who knows how many of a second one.
Then I sat down and read it. I hadn’t been as long away from it as after my First Draft, but I think I was enough disconnected from it that I could be objective. And I took lots of notes.
I felt my story pace was much better. All that cutting to get it down to less than 120,000 words, with my four parts being 20% – 30% – 30% – 20% worked. Everything seemed to flow pretty well, without too many jumps, so I don’t feel like I will miss the third of the book I cut out. Making those changes was a real leap of faith for me.
Guess what? Blake Snyder and Larry Brooks were right.
And my scenes, largely, did the kinds of things I wanted them to do. That made me feel pretty good about investing all that time in the Rosenfeld scene types. I did notice some things that didn’t feel right, and places where I got lazy, but I will speak more about them in a moment.
I wondered if my story could come out with four POVs, instead of seven. And it does. I don’t feel like I’m missing the POV’s I deleted. For the most part, I cut their speaking lines down, but my story doesn’t feel lacking.
I felt some other things. My magic system didn’t shine, which could be a problem if I want to market this as a fantasy. I still don’t feel like I have enough women in my story, but it is probably too late to change that now, without either tearing the story apart again, or bloating it up. And I felt like I was lacking a lot of context.
So, I decided to make some changes.
Did I have multiple scenes wrapped up under one scene title?
So I split out scenes which were really two or more scenes. Adding in the five new scenes, I’m up to 88 scenes. I decided this was important because I’m really focused on scene types, and need to work each one, instead of these hybrids.
Did I have big jumps in my story?
And I decided to add five scenes. These were not redos of cut scenes, but new material. I used one scene to expand the magic element, as well as adding lines and paragraphs into scenes. I added two scenes to bring in the big bad Empire that this Duchy belongs to, and the menace it presents. I added another scene where my MC’s sister makes a play for the love interest / villain to try to save my MC. And I added one more scene to bring out the woman’s side of the conflict brewing with her people.
Did I need more context in my story?
I felt like my MC’s sister came through as a slut, instead of a woman sacrificing her body to learn the secrets of her nation’s enemies, so I did my best to bring out her feelings on having to do what she did.
I felt a lack of other Native Nations, so I alluded to another nation called the Plains People, and left them warlike and menacing without specifically visiting them.
I wanted to bring out more of the Empire threatening her adopted country and her own people, so I created a special scene introducing the Empire’s Ambassador. I was watching the Godfather when I was thinking about thsi, so Michael Corleone lives again. Ha.
I also wanted more magic, and think I need still more.
And I wanted to build up another female character a little, Lady Ladron, who is a dangerous spy. I also added other things along the way, bloating up my word count.
Did I like the scene templates I chose for all the scenes?
I looked at my scene synopses very closely, and what my story needed at each point. I focused on what could not be taken back once in action scenes; what revelations came from dialog scenes; what decisions the POV made in dramatic scenes; what changes the POV suffered through in suspense scenes.
I decided I had been mistaken on sixteen scenes. So, I decided to change eight of them to dramatic scenes, and eight of them to suspense scenes.
I’m starting to rework these. I only have fifteen to go.
What else do I want to do?
I want to compare my other 67 scenes with their scene templates. I know I used the template sincorrectly more than a few times. So I want to make sure I’m either following the rules, or know why I’m not doing it.
I want to finish characterizing each of my dozen or so important characters. Excepting my MC and her villain / love interest, I want to get their dialog, physical movements, and emotional makeup consistent, and unique to them.
I want to get the character arcs for my MC and her villain / love interest where I need them to be. By concentrating on rewriting my first and final scenes back-to-back, I got a lot closer to showing how my MC changed. But I still have a lot of work to do between those two scenes. And I need to work more on my villain / love interest because he doesn’t pop out yet, and seems more like a whiny jerk. And she would never be tempted to sell her soul for him the way he is. She may like bad boys, but…not whiners.
How soon will I be done?
When I am finished.