nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘writing a book

Starting a new book 3

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So the first draft of my new Meniscus book is written. I have completed a Table to help me through revisions. Now I will do a series of scans to make certain the book is the best it can be.

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Revision 1: Refinements. I read through the draft, making edits and adjustments. This includes alterations to punctuation, alternative word selections, re-phrasing to refine the cadence, spelling, suiting of dialogue to character and so on. Of all the revision stages, this step takes the most time and effort.

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Revision 2. Continuity. Because my book is part of a series, I have to consider the action that occurs in previous books and in books-yet-to-come. I have thought through and written drafts for each future story in the series, so I can ‘see into the future’ and include small set-ups for future actions. I also have to make certain settings, characters and actions are consistent with respect to previous books. For example, today I found a place where a character with three brothers has only two in a past story. I also like repetition in series I read, so I have certain things I mention in every book: the scar on Odymn’s forehead, the moons, the tattoos on the Dock-winder’s necks, and so on. I keep a checklist of these in a writing compendium for the series.

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Revision 3. Conflict. Using my Table, I make sure each chapter includes a conflict. This could be an internal conflict, played out in the thoughts and actions of a single character, a conflict between two or more characters, or a conflict between character and setting (for example, a character wakes in a dangerous setting where breathing is difficult). I summarize each conflict in my Table.

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Revision 4. Change. I want each of my characters, major and minor, to have a want and a need, and show change during the book. For example, Odymn wants to return to her home on Earth, but to be happy, she needs to make a home for herself, even on an alien planet. By the end of the book, she will realize she will never return to Earth, but that home is where you find those you love.

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Revisions take time. The re-reading can make a writer bored with his/her own ideas. But every revision pays its own way in terms of improving the story for both the writer and reader.

After revisions, editing remains to be done. This includes conceptual, structural, substantive and line edits.

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Hoping you are making progress with your own writing,

and staying safe,

Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra)

Written by jane tims

December 10, 2020 at 7:00 am

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