Saturday, September 3, 2011

Revision. You Know You Want To

Okay, I just love this picture. I WANT this t-shirt.

Because in the last year I’ve learned a lot about writing, but the most important thing I think I learned was how to revise. I have my typical checklist of things to look for when I’m revising, but this past year I took my revisions to a whole new level. I needed to go even deeper and add another layer to my story.

In order to do this, I needed to bring in a number of elements.
They were:

1. Motivation- What are my secondary characters’ motivations? How can their motivations in turn affect my main character and the overall plot progression of the novel?

2. Setting- How can I use my setting to create a mood and atmosphere in my story? How can the setting add tension to the story?

3. Character’s perspective- Write about only the things that my main character would notice. Stay in POV! If my character wouldn’t notice the floor, then don’t mention it. And how can the props in the room further add to the story?

4. Purpose- Remind the reader of the main character’s purpose over and over again. Make that end goal almost unachievable.

5. Scene Arc- Every scene must have an arc and must serve a purpose to the overarching plot of the novel. If it doesn’t serve that purpose, axe it.

5. And even better yet, make each scene serve multiple purposes- advancing the inner conflict AND outer conflict.

6. Foreshadowing- Thread in those foreshadowings throughout the story. Start at chapter 1 and work my way through the whole story (often this can’t be done until I’ve written at least two revisions).

What about you? What are some elements in your revisions that you have recently been incorporating?

~ Christina


  1. Christy, I think the biggest thing I'm learning about writing is how much work needs to be done in revision. I used to stop at a certain point, but now I know it has to go further, and I push past it. I love your tips!

  2. I love this shirt. I think I need one to wear during my revision process. I really like the revision process as well.

  3. Andrea- yes, everytime I do another revision, I'm amazed at how much stronger the book has become.

    Carrie- I know! I think I'd be such a better reviser if I had this shirt- LOL.

  4. Ooh, I need that shirt! I'm still figuring out how to revise well, I guess. There are a LOT of things to think about while rewriting or revising- the list could go on and on.

  5. Brittany- yes so true. And it's always different areas that need work depending on my revision or even WIP I'm working on.


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