Novel Revision in a Month: Progress Report


Today I finally reached last Friday’s goal (Yes, that is LAST Friday you read) of revising through page 50 of The Swallow’s Spring (my latest title for my novel). I stopped working to make dinner after page 59.

Since November 1, I have revised a total of 59 pages and written 7 new pages.

Why seven new pages? It was rather a new experience for me. When I submit folktales I am often asked to cut the manuscript length, once by nearly 20%. So why am I adding pages to The Swallow’s Spring?

When I did a quick read through to prepare for revision back in October, I realized there were two things not yet developed properly in the novel—the subplot, and the main character’s relationship with several family members.

So, last Friday I wrote a temper tantrum (worse than a two-year-old denied her free cookie in the grocery store) for the main character’s mother. It was fun. Things got thrown (on paper, not in my house). There was much shrieking and wailing. Oh, and did I mention my heroine got slapped? Now it may be more apparent why she is such a goody-two-shoes peacekeeper and wants more than anything to control her own life. I also got to arrange a medieval Irish funeral for her Uncle (the research for that is what kept me up until midnight on November 1).

Now, the rushed through first quarter of the novel does not feel so rushed through anymore.

Next Wednesday: I’ll report my progress and share my main mission in this revision.


NaNoReviseMo: Two Principles

It is Wednesday morning, November 3. Yes, I know you know that, yet it is significant enough that I must confess it before I write further. It is Wednesday morning, November 3, and I have not revised one word of my manuscript. Oh, I’ve been working on the novel, but not revising. Today, as soon as this post goes up I will begin.

So, what’s with the delay? As I look back on the past two days, two principles come to mind:

  1. Everything takes longer to do than you think it will.
  2. Nothing is as scary as you think it is if you’ll just use your rational, rather than your emotional, mind.

Principle 1: I thought before beginning the revisions I should update the Iseult binder. There was new information I needed to include this time around (some of which required research), name changes, character descriptions, style decisions, and a vocabulary/spelling sheet that needed updating. Piece of cake! I thought. I’ll just whip it all together Monday morning and I’m off writing. Not quite. I was still researching at 12:00 A.M Tuesday morning! However, as of 4:30 P.M. yesterday, the binder is complete (except three words I thought of this morning that I have to look up and write the precise definitions onto the vocabulary page). Today, I truly begin revising.

Principle 2 is a cheerier one. I admit, I have been intimidated by the thought of this revision ever since I committed to it. Oh my goodness! The WHOLE novel!

Tuesday, I at last looked at the manuscript to take the total page count and divide it up between the number of days I know I can work this month. What did that scary, burdensome, insurmountable challenge look like? 25 pages a day. Yes, that’s all. Doing only minor revising, I can do that in two hours. Even with scenes to add and others to flesh out, I can do that in a day!

So, yippee! I’m off and writing. This week’s goal? Pages 1-50, out of 200 total. I’m finally excited.

Gotta go!