Revising My WIP – The Plan


Revising My WIP

The Plan

waking up1Forty days are a long time.

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.

My Reading

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.

My Plan

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.


Read about converting scenes using dramatic templates.

2 thoughts on “Revising My WIP – The Plan

  1. I’m glad your revisions are going well! I’m always nervous about cutting things out of the story because I’m afraid I’ll regret it later, but––as you said––I always find that I don’t miss all the things I cut out. Good luck with the rest of your edits!

    • Thank you for your kind words. So far, I’m making big changes which I know help me better tell my story. And I can feel my scenes tightening up and starting to do what I need them to do.

      I am most happy when I can reuse many of my old paragraphs, because I rediscover ideas and phrases that I had forgotten. I’m most worried when I can reuse little of what I wrote. I can only trust I’m not ruining my story.

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