Author Topic: How do you revise your pieces?  (Read 8486 times)

Offline 2par

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #30 on: June 21, 2013, 11:27:07 AM »
I love your attitude, Wolfe. very nice.

Offline cswillson

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #31 on: June 21, 2013, 11:33:47 AM »

The number one thing to do, at that stage, is just to get the story complete.

Okay, here's a question that I haven't been able to resolve. Point me down one path or the other. Which is more important, in order to get past an agent or publisher, story or plot? Or, to make the question easier, is it just voice?
C.S.

FWIW, YMMV, EIEIO

Wolfe

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #32 on: June 21, 2013, 06:09:20 PM »
For an agent, it's story, voice, plot in that order. As always, story tops all because that's the draw that makes readers buy books. Don't get me wrong, voice and plot are important too. But if the story is garbage, it won't sell. Voice and plot be damned.

Voice is second because if you can't tell a good story well . . . well, refer to sentence number two above. You can write a book with little-to-no plot. Literary fiction proves this. So, plot is the red-haired stepchild in this equation.

Agents want a strong story first with a strong voice telling it second. Plot? That's the slutty friend among three girls. She's cool, but she's spread her legs so often that everyone knows her. In other words, most believe there are around seven basic plots, according to Chris Booker, and everyone's read them. This is sound. So, your plot isn't going to surprise anyone in this business.

We've all had her before.

My apologies if the slutty friend analogy offends anyone. I gave her dinner and dancing first if it makes you feel better.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 02:01:45 AM by Wolfe »

Offline bri h

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #33 on: June 21, 2013, 06:22:46 PM »
And did you respect her, after?  ;D
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline cswillson

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2013, 07:22:23 AM »
And did you respect her, after?  ;D

The three most common lies told: The check is in the mail; I'll respect you in the morning; I'm from your government, I'm here to help you.
C.S.

FWIW, YMMV, EIEIO

Offline bri h

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #35 on: June 22, 2013, 09:02:28 AM »
I heard it slightly more baser than this. Send me a request in pm and I'll send it you.  ;D B
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline 2par

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #36 on: June 22, 2013, 01:32:15 PM »
As a reader, I have always, always considered story above everything else, even when the writing is bad.

Offline WordBird

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #37 on: July 05, 2013, 11:31:58 AM »
As a reader, I have always, always considered story above everything else, even when the writing is bad.

I wish I could say that, but I can't. There are too many things that just bug me and distract from the story. Even if it is non-fiction, if the writer gets off on a story that doesn't add value to the book, I get hung up on it. As a reader, if the writing is bad, the story or message is diluted.

Offline ChrisHarrison

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #38 on: July 07, 2013, 05:48:36 AM »
12. Twelfth Draft. Agent. I'll send this copy for her to review. She'll make any suggested changes. Again, in most cases, there should be little-to-no changes outside of adding or removing areas.

13. Thirteen Draft. Re-edit as it applies above. This can take a while, and I may be forced to start from the First Draft again if the agent despises something or everything and drastic changes need to occur. Yes, this can happen. Your agent may hate everyone in the book except the dog. A complete rewrite will be required. Ask Nick Sparks.


Do you not have the chance to talk to your agent about your novel before you reach draft 12 and avoid the possibility of having the whole lot despised?

Chris

Offline ChrisHarrison

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #39 on: July 07, 2013, 06:23:06 AM »
In general terms I go through four phases.

The first phase is to get the story out of my head and into the computer. The first draft is rough with some chapters quite complete, others very sketchy, but with everything written and in sequence I can go to phase two.

The second phase isn't concerned with the writing (prose, style, PoV, spelling etc), but with the story. I'll spend a couple of weeks in cafes, bars, during long walks analysing the thing to death to make sure it's the story I wanted to tell, makes sense, means something, justifies its existence. By the end of this process if anyone asks me 'why did they do that' or 'what's the point of this conversation' I can justify it. I think this is the same as the analytical process I go through in my day job as a designer, be it graphic design or landscape design, when the client says 'why this, why that' you have no problem answering. You've thought about it. You've already asked yourself those questions.

The third phase is to go back to the novel and rewrite it to make sure all the analysis is covered. Some parts might need a big rewrite, some structural changes, other parts might have been nailed first time. The sketchy bits are written in full. It should start to look like a proper novel now!

The fourth phase is the read, edit, read, edit phase. I'm happy with the story by now, so the rest is to do with correcting errors, improving the flow, sharpening the dialogue, setting the scene. I don't have a methodology as detailed as Wolfe, but the latest draft of my novel is number 5 and the revisions to it were writing style, typos and such.*

Chris

*And then I joined this forum! The novel isn't about to be rewritten, but I am now thinking about a complete rewrite of one of the early chapters after reading some of the points raised in the review sections.

Offline Svader

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #40 on: July 07, 2013, 05:19:03 PM »
I tend to write as long as I am in the zone and if I hit a wall I will then go back and start reading from the beginning and edit as I read. One of the most helpful things I have found is to have someone else read it and tell me their opinion on it. Then I will go through it again and edit it. Usually y that time I am ready to continue writing.
My blog. http://stefanivader.WordPress.com

WIP:  Mafia Mayhem 17,000/22,000

Offline LRSuda

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #41 on: July 08, 2013, 01:43:42 PM »
Is this essential to the story? It's what I ask myself as I read over my first drafts. If it's not, I chuck it no matter how much I may like it because it's not about me. It's about the story. Once I have all that sorted out, I read again. Are the sentences clunky? Is the writing clear? Is the voice consistent? Are the voices of my characters distinguishable? When I think I have all that right, I go over it again, then pass it along to beta readers to check for any screw ups I missed. Some work I'll post on the boards just to make sure no one else missed anything wrong. Long process. But you have to trust your gut. When it's right, you know it.