Thursday, April 2, 2015

First Draft Revisions Made Easy

As some of you may know, I've been working on the third book in the parable series entitled, The Gift: A Parable of the Key, which will be hitting the online sky waves come September. 

Since I'm sitting here in this very category at this very minute, I thought it would be the right time to talk about first drafts.

Here are some things I am noticing where revisions are necessary.

1. Typos.
2. Sentence structure issues.
3. Necessary plot insertions.
4, Sentence clarification issues.
5. Word choice.

Allow me to tackle each of these revision issues briefly:

1. Typos are probably one of the most difficult things to catch unless you're red flagged by your computer. Some typos are obvious, others, well, try reading your story out loud to get those pesky typos out of your work.

2. Again, reading out loud will help with sentence structure issues. If you don't want to read your work out loud (though I highly recommend it) consider any time you stop at a sentence and have to re-read it, or you find yourself wondering what you meant.

3. I have a scene in my book that I've added to the plot since the first write, and I may find as I continue to read that another one is necessary. I noticed the vacancy of this scene when I got to a particular scene and realized that there was not enough previous set-up to make the scene believable.

You can't have people angry, for example, unless there are scenes previous to the explosion that sets everything up. When the explosion finally happens, the reader says in their head, "Well, yes, I can see that happening, when they did this and this..."

4. I may have thought my sentence was as clear as the day sky when I wrote it, only to re-read and discover the skies were likely filled with black clouds. Sometimes, to clarify the sentence, I must add to the sentence, at other times I must start completely over.

5. I don't know how many times I re-read only to find that a certain word 'just doesn't fit' with the scene. Either the word is too harsh or too soft, or a particular character uses it; one I might add, that wouldn't for the life of them use that particular word.

First drafts might be a bit - tedious - but consider the improvement of your work after the first draft is finished. You wouldn't want to send your beta readers a manuscript riddled with weeds anyway and focusing on these editing issues early on will make their reading experience that much sweeter.



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