Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Little Revision Exercise

So yesterday the revision of A Cornish House began in earnest. I know I have many things to address, but on day one I wanted to be able to say I had achieved something...anything really. So I tackled Scene One. This consisted of first reading it in hard copy (just over four pages) and addressing anything that hit me in the face - and yes there were plenty. Next I inputted those changes and printed again. For my second go through I wanted to narrow the focus on my verbs, yes my verbs. See photo. I highlighted them. This helped my easily distractable mind to FOCUS. So then I asked myself these questions:

1. Any obvious repetition?

-answer yes, need appears far too much

2. Needless/Lazy use of 'to be'

-answer yes

3. Passive?

-Yup (it's the Irish in me, I swear)

4. Are they the best verbs for the job?

-yes and no

5. Finally looking at them as a group do they help convey the point of the scene?

-interestingly for me the answer was an overwhelming yes

So the question for today is - have you ever done this and has it helped? BTW I did another two passes through of the scene and that's it done and dusted until the final read through - I think....


SueG said...

I do print out, read, edit, type in changes, print out, read, edit, type in changes over and over. But I've never highlighted. That's a great idea.

Fia said...

I do but only once I'm happy with the scene itself. If it doesn't help the story, it has to take its leave:(

Susie Vereker said...

I think it is very difficult to go on revising and revising. Maybe your idea of moving on to a new novel is worth considering. If you get one published then the others will find a place too. Tell a good, interesting story from the heart and you'll get there.

Debs said...

I do a print out, get out the red pen, but next time I will highlight, as Marina O's course showed us (at Caerleon) how useful this can be.

HelenMHunt said...

I need to start on exactly this process, so that's really helpful.

liz fenwick said...

SueG - glad you liked the idea. I wouldn't want to do it for a whole book but I think I good get every so often.

Fia - killing your darlings-ouch, I hate it but two scene's went yesterday!

Susie, you are right but this time my heart says tackle this one more time then let go. I am also doing the research for Pilgrimage so I wouldn't be writing the new book just yet...

Debs - I actually found it fun (which probably makes me very weird!)

I'm pleased Helen. Let me know how it goes.

B said...

I haven't done this before... but may in the future. THanks for sharing what you've tried :)