Second Revision and Second Thoughts


Second Revision

Second Thoughts On What To Do

I finished my second revision.

confession a

“Be afraid.  Be kind of afraid.”

Scooby Doo uttered those immortal words in a Halloween Scooby Doo show.

And…I am.

When I finished my first draft, I knew I should revise it before submitting it to Beta Readers.  So, I basically rewrote my story, cutting it down from 168,000 to 116,000 words.  Then I went through and applied Jordan Rosenfeld’s scene types from her book, Make A SceneI hoped to take that version to Beta Readers.  I thought I could work on characterization while I waited for feedback.  But…

In a discussion on Scribophile, they persuaded me to write in my characterization before pushing it out for critique.

So, I will.

But, how?

I’ve used a number of different approaches to write my WIP.

I wrote my first draft, pretty much, in scene order.  As I made changes, I planned them forward with notes against what I’d already written, and I did not go back.

When I resized my WIP, I planned my scene shuffles, merges, cuts and new scenes.  Then I rewrote them in scene order.

But, when I got to fixing my scene types, I could have stuck with scene order.  But, I didn’t do that.  I decided to stick with one scene type through my WIP.  That meant I went in and fixed all my action scenes.  Then I moved on to dialog, then other types.

When I developed my original character arcs, I started with my MC.  I defined her positive character traits, gave her some flaws, and laid out her arc.  Then I added her villain / love interest, and went back to her arc to fix what his arc changed.  And I kept going down, arc by arc, tweaking my completed arcs until I got all my important characters defined.

Should I use the same approach again, starting with my MC, and working my way down?  Or is there a better way?

I decided to reverse the order, and start with the less important characters and working my way up to my MC.

Forty-five minor characters populate my WIP, and I am fond of a few of them.  I will trace through my story, minor character by minor character.  I won’t give them an arc, but I will make sure they speak and act consistently for their situation.  For some of them, I might give them physical attributes which add to the story.

Eight important, non POV characters appear.  I used the Positive Character Traits and Negative Character Traits to fluff up their personalities.  They have rudimentary character arcs.

My four POV characters all have character arcs.

I have no idea how long this will take.  The minor characters shouldn’t take long, and I should be able to add in whatever I need without upsetting things, although a few of them start to approach some of the important characters for scene numbers and lines.

The important and POV characters are different.  I have extensive notes on them that, sadly, I did not refer to as much as I might.  Also, I will need to finalize their speech patterns and mannerisms to make them unique and memorable.  And, of course, I will save the villain / love interest and my MC for last.

How hard can that be?

It would be nice to think I could finish this before Thanksgiving.

Read about revising minor character arcs.

3 thoughts on “Second Revision and Second Thoughts

    • What’s fun is writing the first draft. It’s almost like reading the story for the first time to see what happens next.

      While I can still find joy in revising, they are different. Today, I build up a minor character a little, making him hard of hearing. People will probably find that annoying. Ha.

      Thank you. 🙂

  1. Pingback: My WIP’s Third Revision – Minor Characters | Simply Silent

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