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Revision Plan

Well, the book is done, but there’s done and there’s DONE. Right now we’re sitting at Stage #1 Done, where all the scenes have been written but there are a few things that don’t add up, a few characters that could be stronger, and a few major plot points I sorta forgot to mention in my mad rush to the finish line.

So I’ve taken a nice long break from active work, just reading my manuscript and making plans. And I’m finally ready with my Comprehensive Revision Plan.

Step #1: Read the book and make a list of all issues.
Status: 100 % Done
Notes: I thought there would be about 10 of these. Turns out there were 32.

Step #2: Figure out what to do about each issue.
Status: 70% Done
Notes: There are about six sticky issues remaining, and if I can figure those out, I’ll be golden. Mark has promised to help me, which is good, ’cause some of them have me in conniptions.

Step #3: Re-read Scenes 1-10. Revise them.
Status: 0% Done
Notes: It’s really important to keep reading the book in long sections, rather than just a scene at a time. You realize so much about characters that are inconsistent, issues that seem to fluctuate in importance to the protagonist, and other things that will be confusing to a reader.

Step #4-6: Repeat for scenes 11-20, 21-30, and 31-38.
Status: 0% Done
Notes: I suspect by the end there may be more like 42-45 scenes, as there are a few bits I want to add. In that case, this step may go on a bit longer than I plan (I’m currently hoping to get through 4 scenes per day).

Step #7: Polish tension
Status: 0% Done
Notes: I plan to look at each page and make sure that there’s something tense happening on it. And if there’s not, put it there. And if it’s there, heighten it.

Step #8: Polish prose
Status: 0% Done
Notes: The last step, just about making it all sounds pretty. And clever. And, when appropriate, funny.

So there you have it, Jane’s plan for novel revision. I’m hoping to turn this thing around pretty quickly and get it in the mail. I’m ready to have it working for me, instead of the other way around!

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