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Saturday, October 23, 2010

AFDOC 34-36: Revisions Creep

In homage to the season ghosts and goblins wandered into my office and took a seat this week. They booed and rattled chains as I slogged through the vile task of reviewing and rewriting my words once again. This time, however, each syllable is measured against five specific criteria, and naturally given my penchant for detail, each criterion got sub-criteria. But {never start a sentence with but according to today's witch and warlock editors} it's a must at this point to lend validity to the story telling.

I don't mind sharing the criteria although the werewolf howled at the full moon last night when I made this decision. He grows more cantankerous with caution about telling this tale to any and everyone. I howled right back certain in my conviction that writers are all about sharing.

Each chapter takes one to two hours to do in this fashion - some a little longer - so it's not for the faint of heart. I apply the criteria to each scene separately and record my findings in my handy-dandy notebook. I admit that I have to stop more frequently to clear my head of cobwebs, stretch my Frankenstein-like neck muscles, and flex the skeletal portions of my hands.

Number or letter each criterion to make this easier. Do the scenes?

1. Support the plot?

2. Support subplots? Which one(s)?

3. Move the story forward? This seems like a crisp, candied apple if the first two are in place, but try it and see how many questions you ask - becomes more like a sticky popcorn ball.

4. Support a throughline? Which one(s)?

5. Ripe for deletion?

May your goblins treat you right to get it written! Mahala


  1. This dissection technique is very insightful. I'll put it to good use when I get to the end of November and the end of NaNoWriMo.

  2. Rebecca, It's a LOT of work but I can see good results. What are you working on?


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