On Revision

Hello friends!

Revision: that oft dreaded step in the writing process. Why is it so much more fun to spew your ideas out onto the page than to rework them until they make sense?

As you’ve likely gathered by now, I’ve been working on Scion of Victory intensely for about three and a half years. I wrote the first draft in four months; everything after that has been revision in some capacity. The second draft was drastically different from the first draft, because I added two new viewpoints (Ramint and Eva). Since then, the major changes have been to the beginning.

Typically, I’m a linear writer. I like to outline in advance, and then I write chapter one, chapter two, chapter three, and so on. But for draft 4, I’m trying something new: I’ve ditched the chapter numbers (but retained the titles) and I’ve sorted them by narrator. From there, I’m revising by arc. I started with Eva (who has the fewest number of chapters), and I’ve moved on to Ramint for this month, and then I’ll finish with Kita. With this approach, I’m focusing more on the character development and their individual beats. 

Eva’s arc, in my opinion, needed the most work. In revising her chapters, I’ve been able to target the roughest areas and strengthen her development. Some of her chapters grew; some got cut entirely. Overall, I feel I was able to focus on her beats more easily and tighten up her narrative. I’m anticipating similar results with the next two narrators.

Once I’ve gone through all three narrative arcs like this, I’ll have to put the chapters back in place and smooth out the transitions. That’s fine. And who knows, I might decide this isn’t the right approach. But after two linear revisions, I figured it was time to try something new.

The hope, of course, is that revising will improve the story. I can definitely see the improvement over the years, and I believe there’s still room for improvement. Even if it’s so annoying to rewrite the same story over and over.

What I wrote this week: Draft 4, Ramint’s arc.

What I read this week: Soulstar by CL Polk; Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo.

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