Saturday, June 4, 2011

In Which I am Hit with the Goliath Warhammer of Reality

Doing something a little different with my "Friday Favorites" this week. (Which, by the way, I think I'm just going to keep on Saturdays and retain the title as a protest to society.)

I'm currently in heavy revision mode. I'd already changed the whole tone of the novel months ago, but many of the events had stayed intact, just with the MC viewing things in a much different light. (Basically, I added an emotional arc.) Now the events themselves are changing. Characters who got along great with my MC are fighting her. Antagonists who left her alone until almost the end are harassing her. My protagonist is protaging. (Credit to one of my Clarion West classmates for that phrase.)

I think, "Wow, go me. These are massive changes, I've never done such serious revisions to a novel before." Then along comes this awesome post from Adventures in Agentland. In a nutshell, it reads, Newsflash: I'm not doing anything special. This is how revision is supposed to work. Everything I called revision before was at best minor tweaking, a baby step above changing character names and correcting spelling errors.

One of the other things I've got to get in shape is the setting. My beta-reader told me that one of the major settings of the book doesn't feel like a real place, mostly because I've done such bare-minimum description of it. Enter the awesomenesses that are Scrivener and The Bookshelf Muse. Bookshelf Muse has a whole series of posts that take a setting and list every possible thing you could see, hear, smell, feel, or taste in it. Scrivener lets you import webpages directly into your research section. So now I can reference these insanely helpful pages without bouncing back and forth between programs. (As it turns out, there's tons of details about my setting I'm not using nearly as well as I could, another dose of reality there.)

So, there you go, a long-winded way of sharing three sites that have really helped me get through the editing this week. I won't have a whole blog post centered around my Friday Favorites every week, but it was a fun diversion. Now, back to (real) editing!

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