It’s “one more chapter Tuesday,” Scribettes. At least it is for me. PJ Sharon here, and as I approach my final chapter of my first draft of WANING MOON, I’m already pondering revisions. There won’t be any “letting it rest” for me. Not because I don’t believe in the practice of putting some distance between writer and story before digging into revisions, but because my production schedule doesn’t allow for it this time. I’m already behind schedule, so it’s onward ho!
I know, based on early feedback from critique partners and my red pen queen, Carol, that I have problems with too much telling, repetitive sentence structure, and a few plot holes that look more like giant pot holes. I’m thinking that my first read thru needs to be a straight-on plot check to make sure all the dots connect, especially since this is the first book of a trilogy. I need to make sure that whatever subplots I leave open will be addressed in the next book. Although I’m not a big “plotter” per se, I’ll definitely be keeping notes this time around to ensure continuity in the next two books. We don’t want Will’s eyes turning from blue to green in book two. There will be story threads that will remain open ended in books one and two that need to wrap up by the final book. At the same time, there are plot points that need to get resolved in this book so that there is some kind of satisfying ending. Tricky thing this trilogy business.
My second trip through, after I rewrite or slash and burn any scenes that don’t move the story forward, I’ll be looking for ways to deepen characterization, layer in subtext, and refine word choice. That’s about the time I’ll be looking for feedback from critique partners about what else might not be working, whether the actions of the characters ring true and are properly motivated, and if the pacing gets bogged down anywhere. I’ll keep tweaking for a few more read-thrus until I feel I’ve done as much as I can on my own, and then it’s off to one of my friendly editors for deep edits—the stuff that makes an author’s hair curl when they see how much they have to fix . I currently have three editors on my short list, but whoever is available and can meet my deadlines will get it first. If I have time, I may go through three rounds of editing before I feel satisfied that the book is ready to go to first print with Createspace.
First prints will go out to Beta readers and also to a proof reader to catch any typos or spelling errors. Once I get all of this feedback, I’ll dive into my semi-final edits. Then it’s off to the copy-editor for one more look and back to me for final edits and a second printing. These prints are considered ARCs and may go out to reviewers or contest winners. I’m only allowed a few of these at a time through Createspace, but I’ll make good use of them, even if there are a few errors. Hopefully, by the time I’m ready for the third printing when I upload to Amazon, BN, and Smashwords, I’ll have a nice clean finished product.
Whew! I’m tired thinking about it. Of course this is an ideal plan, but we all know how plans have a way of changing. The kicker is that I have about 8-10 weeks to make it all happen and I’ve learned that when depending on others to meet my deadlines, all bets are off. It’s just part of the business. Add to the mix, book cover designs and marketing and I’ve definitely got my work cut out for me. But first things first…or last, as in finish up that last chapter. So that’s what I’m doing today.
What are you all up to? Any revision strategies you’d like to share before I dive in? I’d love to hear your suggestions.