Monday, January 10, 2011

Melissa's Revision Mondays

As always, my revision tips are posted in the hopes that new or beginning writers will discover the tools they need to do a thorough revision of their work, before sending it to agents or publishers. I am far from an expert on the subject of revision, and am learning as I go through the process myself. I call upon my more experienced collegues to offer up their wisdom and tips.

This week, I've been working on organizing my manuscript. Being a died-in-the-wool pantser, I wrote 80,000 words, with only the barest outline to guide me. Now it's time to take what I wrote and try to make some sense out of it. To uncover those plot holes that need to be filled in. To address changes to plot, setting, and character that evolved as the story unfolded.

I turned to one of my favorite reference books to help me bring some sanity to my crazy manuscript. It's called "Thanks, But This Isn't For Us." By Jessica Page Morrell. In it she suggests creating a blueprint of your story. So I deconstructed my MS scene by scene and put together a blueprint, that I can use to illuminate stuctural issues that need to be addressed. I have a long way to go on this, but hope to have a solid blueprint by next week.
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Another great post that addresses this issue is Elana Johnson's post from Friday which talks about where to start your book. She has some awesome things to share about revision, so if you haven't seen it, check it out.

Do you have any tips for creating organization and structure in you manuscript?


  1. If I did, I'd be using and sharing, for sure! But since I don't, I'm reading yours :)

  2. Wow. What a thorough way to make sense of one's ms!!! Thanks for the tip and the link!!! Good luck with your revisions!!

    p.s. erm... I too have the same answer as Suzi McGowen's! Take care

  3. I started reading Save the Cat and while it's designed for screenplays, there's some good tips for quthors as well.

  4. I wish I was as focused as you are!

  5. Excellent! Was it you who suggested this on my blog last week? I can't remember.

    I recommend SAVE THE CAT for organization. It has 15 beats that every movie needs that can be easily adapted to books. I love it!