Second Revision of Chelson’s Bridge
Fixing Scene Structure
Second revision…done…four days.
What’s a second revision?
Great question. With our first draft we captured our tale, and the first revision corrected story structure and plot line problems.
The second addresses scene structure.
Again…what does that mean?
Readers understand all scenes aren’t identical. Car chase scenes have a different feel from Hitchcock’s suspense scenes. It’s easy to conjure other examples…or get her book. And I applied Jordan Rosenfeld’s teachings from Make A Scene, picking and choosing from her ten scene types.
I envisioned eighteen scenes in my WIP — two action, three dialog, five dramatic, four suspense, and four specials (climax, epiphany, first, final). Then I dashed out my story using those scene structures…sometimes close, occasionally missing utterly.
Rosenfeld’s templates beautifully couple scene structure to story purpose. Alas, I stumbled, again, with action scenes, failing to shape prior scenes to allow movement into fast paced action with an economy of words. Instead, I wrote long windups, laying pipe as one craft book said.
How maddening wanting to follow the recipe…but muddling everything up. The solution — keep only fight paragraphs and move everything else out. But…story structure didn’t permit dumping those crucial excised paragraphs into some earlier scene. So…my WIP has nineteen scenes. And I may redo my other action scene to match.
On completing Revision Two, word count dropped 1,500 words, leaving 16,000 words, well beyond 12,000.
By agreement my Trusted Reader will read Revision Two. But I couldn’t plop it in her lap without tidying up. So I lightly applied deep editing tools…and cut 1,100 words.
But, in taking three days to edit, I almost doubled the time to revise. Will editing after Revision Two help future revisions. Or will the fixes wash away?
Revision Three’s character arcs.