As with all best laid plans, throw a young kraken (read: 4 year old child) into the mix and things get… interesting. Make that a sick young kraken… well I’m sure you get the picture. My kraken makes anarchy look like a twinset and pearls Martha Stewart acolyte.
Despite having a kraken underfoot, I’ve managed to make a start on my revisions. The following are top issues in my revision plan:
+ cut backstory chunks in ch2-7 and reweave
+ analyse secondary characters’ purpose/roles and consolidate/cut where needed
+ bring to the fore main conflict thread
+ review characterisation of my MC–need to walk tightrope between special snowflake, agency, Mary Sue, and unique individual personality (man it’s tough to be a woman!)
+review diversity portrayal (descriptions, as well as English as a second language). Difficult one, need to think on this. One of the characters is loosely based on my grandfather. He was a rear admiral in the Kuomintang navy, super clever and multi-talented (poet, writer, artist on top of his military career), but as an immigrant to Canada in his 70s, his English was not fluent. *I* know he was clever, as do most people who have had exposure to dual language, but it’s important there be no ambiguity on this.
I’m blending a few things together–using Janice Hardy’s excellent 31 day revisions framework but adding a few of my own tweaks. I’m taking Janice Hardy’s day one (plot and structure) and swapping it with her day two (character arc) because I believe story is character arc. As Lisa Cron puts it: A story is about how the things that happen affect someone in pursuit of a difficult goal, and how the person changes internally as a result. So my plan over the next few days:
- Day 1: Work through Lisa Cron’s Story Genius to hone main character arc. Halfway there!
- Day 2 (today): Finish Lisa Cron’s Story Genius exercises, then plot character arc & story turning points into story grid.
- Day 3: Analyse my story grid, make any necessary tweaks. Take scene cards (thank goodness I’d done these before. 62 of them, each with GMC, character arc per scene, plot threads etc) and make a plot graph. Highlight weaknesses. Brain storm how to strengthen.
So that’s my plan. Fellow #amrevising peeps, what are your favourite revision tips?
Happy writing all. May the Muse be with you.