Chelson’s Bridge – First Revision Complete


First Revision of Chelson’s Bridge

Fixing Story Structure and Plot Lines

Read about my reaction to the first draft.

First revision…done…in nine days.

And, you know you are done…how?

Because, after taking 126 comments from my First Read, sorting them into piles — Rev 1 story structure and continuity (109), Rev 2 scene structure (15), Rev 3 character arcs (1), and edit issues (1), I addressed all Rev 1 item, leaving nothing to do.

Ready for the world?

Nope…maybe Revision Two…and then probably only for the eyes of a Trusted Reader.

How did I do it?

With 109 comments, where to start?  Well…a second sort asking whether the comment applied to single scenes (65) or universally to the story (44).

But 44 overwhelmed me.  So one last sort into problems with terms and names (8), story structure (5), world (14), story flow (12), character (4), and a scene issue (1).

Voila…an ordered list.  Starting with terms, and continuing through to that scene structure problem, I took each problem, conjured a fix, and chased it through the entire story, whacking moles each time they reared their heads.

Lastly came fixes for 65 comments applying to a single scene.

My last WIP taught me an invaluable lesson…establish what DONE looks like — close all items. Then — STOP.

What did I learn?

The biggest single thing was discovering the passion sweeping their world…that one nation claimed a right to impose its world view on all others. Everything fell into place.

A close second was lack of appreciation of their world’s geographical and political makeups. Eventually, ignorance forced me to pause and divine the birth of peoples, nations, and cities. With both feet on solid ground, I weaved those truths into character’s lives.

And a craft thing materialized. I can almost understand small stories with a glance, unlike novels. Visibility made addressing Universal issues simpler because I knew which scenes an issue plagued without looking, and understood the remedy. Most wonderful of all, little story breakage. Is this how eidetic memories work? Awesome.

What’s next?

Revision Two heals scene structures. By plan I pre-assigned types for each scene. Alas, problems surfaced with the first draft when I implemented scene patterns haphazardly.  In some instances I picked the wrong type, but wrote to plan, reckoning on another chance with Rev Two. And, with action scenes, I wrote tons of front matter suggesting two scenes instead of one.

Curious about how long another revision takes?  Me, too.  Ha.

Read about Revision Two.

4 thoughts on “Chelson’s Bridge – First Revision Complete

  1. Pingback: So…What to Think of Chelson’s First Draft? | Simply Silent

  2. Pingback: Chelson’s Bridge – Second Revision Complete | Simply Silent

  3. Jer from Scrib. I’ve been reading some of your posts on revision. I admire your disciplined approach to the process. I’m still in the early planning stages of my own novel, seeing how you tackle the later stage problems is comforting. You have a system. You break down the wall of feedback you have into management compartments and you attack your problems set by set.

    If I come upon others stuck rolling boulders up Revision Hill for eternity, I’ll send them to your blog.


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