Author Topic: How do you revise your pieces?  (Read 8446 times)

Wolfe

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2013, 10:18:27 PM »
1. First Draft: Handwritten. If I read a passage aloud to someone, I'll note changes or errors with a pen.

2. Second Draft: Transcribe to computer. I'll make any obvious changes needed as far as missing words, misspellings, or grammar.

3. Third Draft: Read Aloud. I'll make changes as far as the music of the words or clarity here. I'll also delete repetition or unneeded passages.

4. Fourth Draft: Read Aloud. Dialogue only. Here, I'll make changes as far as region-speak or dialect. I'll also test if the dialogue alone makes the story clear. If not, I'll clarify. I'll also make sure each character has a distinct voice. If they don't, their dialogue gets an overhaul.

5. Fifth Draft: Read Silently. Now, I'll check plot holes or unanswered questions. I'll make sure I've answered all cliffhangers by novel's end. All plots and subplots must be answered. No questions must be left behind.

6. Six Draft: Test Readers (Story Stage). At this stage, I give the draft to my beta readers. These specific readers look for anything I may have missed in the Fifth Draft. They'll also answer specific questions I ask of them.

7. Seventh Draft: Polish. I polished those areas highlighted in the Sixth Draft.

8. Eight Draft: Test Readers (SPaG Stage). Again, I'll give the draft to the next set of beta readers. These readers check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. I also allow them to mark anything else that stands out.

9. Ninth Draft: Polish. I polish those areas highlighted in the Seventh Draft.

10. Tenth Draft: Read-Back. At this stage, I'll use a reader, human or electronic, to read the work back to me. If human, I'll ask the reader to mark any place they stumble. If computer, I'll mark any passage that sounds odd or where the computer stumbles . . . this happens believe it or not.

11. Eleventh Draft: Corrections. Here, I rewrite any areas where the above reader stumbled due to rhythm or confusion. In most cases, knock on wood, this is very little after everything beforehand.

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.

14. Fourteenth Draft. Agent and House Editor. This draft is examined by both agent and house editors. Again, if I've done my job right, only minor changes occur as far as style, voice, or personal tastes.

15. Fifteenth Draft. House Polish for changes noted above. Again, this can vary depending on what does or doesn't work for the publishing house.

16. Sixteenth Draft. Uncorrected Proof. These drafts are the printed, and paperback versions of the final draft. These are given free for review to critics, editors, or your fellow authors for potential commentary on the novel's jacket or inside pages. This is my next-to-last chance to make changes or fixes due to their review.

17. Seventeen Draft. Corrected Proof. This draft is where I'll make changes, if needed, should anyone above find an error everyone else missed.

18. Eighteenth Draft. Last Chance. This draft is the copy that gets mass-printed, if you're a traditional author. This is my last chance to fix anything I find. More often than not, the only changes should be from computer glitches or errors in translation. Honestly, at this stage, I'm sick of the book and ready to write a new one. Once you're sick of your work, it's ready to see print.

19. Nineteenth Draft. Final Copy. This is it. The product that's sold on the shelf. Hopefully, error-free, and another bestseller.

20. Signed Copy. This is the last time I make a change to my book. I simply add a signature or other commentary my fanatical and loyal fans ask of me.

And that's my process. ;)
« Last Edit: June 11, 2013, 04:06:19 PM by Wolfe »

Offline Annmarie

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2013, 07:22:57 AM »
Wow, Wolfe. Respect.

By your list, I'm only on the sixth draft, which makes me want to go climb under a rock. All those drafts left. Ack! What masochists we writers are.  ;D
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Wolfe

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2013, 04:11:20 PM »
Thank you. :) You know, it's so funny you say that because I'm so used to the process, I think it's normal and the best-case scenario. If something goes horribly wrong at stage 12-14, it can be hellish to go back to stage 1 again.

Yes, it happens. And I remind myself that everyone is trying to get the best the work can be before I stick needles in their voodoo dolls or send the hairy eyeball. Yeah, get your skin nice and thick here before you even attempt to test it out there.

Seriously. They don't pull punches when it comes to the bottom-line.

Offline Annmarie

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2013, 01:29:03 AM »
Thank you. :) You know, it's so funny you say that because I'm so used to the process, I think it's normal and the best-case scenario. If something goes horribly wrong at stage 12-14, it can be hellish to go back to stage 1 again.

Yes, it happens. And I remind myself that everyone is trying to get the best the work can be before I stick needles in their voodoo dolls or send the hairy eyeball. Yeah, get your skin nice and thick here before you even attempt to test it out there.

Seriously. They don't pull punches when it comes to the bottom-line.

You and my first newspaper editor are soul mates.  You're not from Philly, are you?  :D

Could you help thicken my skin a bit via my query in Prose Workshop? Would appreciate your help.

Back to the topic-- I retype the early drafts front to back. Not efficient, but helps me keep the flow of the work.
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Offline Dean

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2013, 11:50:29 AM »
1. First Draft: Handwritten. If I read a passage aloud to someone, I'll note changes or errors with a pen.

2. Second Draft: Transcribe to computer. I'll make any obvious changes needed as far as missing words, misspellings, or grammar.

3. Third Draft: Read Aloud. I'll make changes as far as the music of the words or clarity here. I'll also delete repetition or unneeded passages.

4. Fourth Draft: Read Aloud. Dialogue only. Here, I'll make changes as far as region-speak or dialect. I'll also test if the dialogue alone makes the story clear. If not, I'll clarify. I'll also make sure each character has a distinct voice. If they don't, their dialogue gets an overhaul.

5. Fifth Draft: Read Silently. Now, I'll check plot holes or unanswered questions. I'll make sure I've answered all cliffhangers by novel's end. All plots and subplots must be answered. No questions must be left behind.

6. Six Draft: Test Readers (Story Stage). At this stage, I give the draft to my beta readers. These specific readers look for anything I may have missed in the Fifth Draft. They'll also answer specific questions I ask of them.

7. Seventh Draft: Polish. I polished those areas highlighted in the Sixth Draft.

8. Eight Draft: Test Readers (SPaG Stage). Again, I'll give the draft to the next set of beta readers. These readers check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. I also allow them to mark anything else that stands out.

9. Ninth Draft: Polish. I polish those areas highlighted in the Seventh Draft.

10. Tenth Draft: Read-Back. At this stage, I'll use a reader, human or electronic, to read the work back to me. If human, I'll ask the reader to mark any place they stumble. If computer, I'll mark any passage that sounds odd or where the computer stumbles . . . this happens believe it or not.

11. Eleventh Draft: Corrections. Here, I rewrite any areas where the above reader stumbled due to rhythm or confusion. In most cases, knock on wood, this is very little after everything beforehand.

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.

14. Fourteenth Draft. Agent and House Editor. This draft is examined by both agent and house editors. Again, if I've done my job right, only minor changes occur as far as style, voice, or personal tastes.

15. Fifteenth Draft. House Polish for changes noted above. Again, this can vary depending on what does or doesn't work for the publishing house.

16. Sixteenth Draft. Uncorrected Proof. These drafts are the printed, and paperback versions of the final draft. These are given free for review to critics, editors, or your fellow authors for potential commentary on the novel's jacket or inside pages. This is my next-to-last chance to make changes or fixes due to their review.

17. Seventeen Draft. Corrected Proof. This draft is where I'll make changes, if needed, should anyone above find an error everyone else missed.

18. Eighteenth Draft. Last Chance. This draft is the copy that gets mass-printed, if you're a traditional author. This is my last chance to fix anything I find. More often than not, the only changes should be from computer glitches or errors in translation. Honestly, at this stage, I'm sick of the book and ready to write a new one. Once you're sick of your work, it's ready to see print.

19. Nineteenth Draft. Final Copy. This is it. The product that's sold on the shelf. Hopefully, error-free, and another bestseller.

20. Signed Copy. This is the last time I make a change to my book. I simply add a signature or other commentary my fanatical and loyal fans ask of me.

And that's my process. ;)

I feel so...inadequate  :o...

Thanks for taking the time to share. I shall be sure to incorporate some of your tips...baby steps though, right? I've actually taken to writing longhand first after you and a few other members have mentioned it.

Incidentally, given how much time the revising must take, how long do you spend on planning?
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 11:54:35 AM by Dean »

Offline 2par

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2013, 12:03:23 PM »
Planning? Do you mean planning your next story/poem, etc.?
I think about something a lot before committing any of it to paper.

Wolfe

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2013, 07:28:53 PM »
Incidentally, given how much time the revising must take, how long do you spend on planning?

I used to be fanatical with outlines, index cards, and other methods to plan the work. Now, I just know how the novel ends . . . usually . . . and write toward that ending. But, to answer your question, I plan the following:

1. The theme or message I intend with the novel.

2. The title.

3. The ending.

4. The key protagonist(s).

5. The key antagonist(s).

6. The conflict.

7. The goal for each character.

8. The setting.


All that may sound involved, but honestly I have most of that in my head before I finish the last novel. More to the point, I have a bad habit of writing the next novel in my head before I finish the current project. I've been told that's a good thing, to plan ahead and all, but sometimes I wonder.

The rest? I just make up as I go along. I've said it before, but part of the real joy about writing a novel is how certain unexpected events and actions from characters can surprise and delight you. In many ways, it's like reading the work you're writing at the same time.

Don't cheat yourself from the experience. The unpredictable in a novel will keep you and your readers guessing. No, it doesn't always work. Sometimes, you must backtrack and delete. But, sometimes, the results amaze and delight all involved.

Have the basics for your story done in your head, but allow your imagination and subconscious to write the rest. Again, the results may surprise you.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2013, 08:25:38 AM by Wolfe »

Aspell

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2013, 08:21:56 PM »
When logic fails.

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2013, 08:42:44 PM »
When logic fails.

Not really Aspell - perhaps it is more - logic is different fro different people.

Each of us have to find the method (or logic) that works best for them.
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Aspell

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2013, 09:00:55 PM »
Not really Aspell - perhaps it is more - logic is different fro different people.

Each of us have to find the method (or logic) that works best for them.


I'm just saying one out of numerous things that one must edit, logical fallacy as in something that can crash your plot.

Offline cswillson

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2013, 07:17:01 AM »
I'm just saying one out of numerous things that one must edit, logical fallacy as in something that can crash your plot.

What are you smoking?
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Wolfe

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2013, 03:17:07 PM »
I honestly didn't understand it either.

Offline 2par

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2013, 05:42:25 PM »
Huh?

Offline Rachael

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2013, 12:22:30 AM »
I think he means that he has to go back and find where things don't make sense - then edit it out or fix it up.

Wolfe

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Re: How do you revise your pieces?
« Reply #29 on: June 21, 2013, 03:19:46 AM »
If that's the case, given. But, the latter question involved planning. If it's a question of logic during that stage, I let common sense dictate what is right and what makes no sense. Otherwise, I leave that for editing.

The number one thing to do, at that stage, is just to get the story complete. Otherwise, you'll spend years second-guessing your efforts and never getting anything done.

Tie that critic up until the novel's finished. Afterwards, he can whip you into submission later. But, you'll always have your completed work. And, just so we're all on the same page, do you know how many people can't even begin to form a complete sentence much less a complete novel?

Writers should be proud of that ability. Most people can only dream of doing it, much less doing it well and as a career. ;)
« Last Edit: June 21, 2013, 06:00:23 PM by Wolfe »