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Archive for February, 2018

Forward!

I’m now about two-thirds through the first round of revisions on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

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I am going to try really hard to get this done–not, probably by the end of this week–but hopefully before the end of next weekend.

One of the things I added will make the next few chapters tighter, so that’s good.

There’ll still be stuff that I left for the next revision pass, but most of that will be minor–I hope.

Back to the revision cave.

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Whew!

Well, I’ve finally finished the section that had to be redone in BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

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This wasn’t so much a rewrite as completely scrapping what I had in the last scene of Chapter 30 and the first scene or two of Chapter 31. That section, of course, is now effectively a first draft and will probably need a bit more work in the final revisions. But, it’s better than it was.

Now, of course, I’ll need to smooth over the transition into the next scene, which is not coming from the same starting point as it was. But that shouldn’t be too bad.

Hopefully, this draft won’t need any more major surgery like this. I’d still really like to finish it by the end of next week so I can get it out to my beta readers, but I’m not going to do a sloppy job to achieve that. And I do know I’ve got a couple of chapters right before the climax that are going to need fleshing out.

It doesn’t have to be perfect to go to the beta readers, of course. But it should be at least close.

Well, it takes as long as it takes to get it right.

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In my last post I optimistically stated that I thought the most of the rest of this revision pass on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING would go smoothly and more quickly.

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Yeah, well, the thing about revisions is that they don’t always follow the script. I’d already done the read-through and marked up the chapters I thought needed work. There are a couple near the end the need to be filled out more, for example. Right now they read more as summaries. And a couple of chapters that start out more as summaries that will need to be fixed, too.

But the second pass, for me, is still a complete read-through. And sometimes it’s not until the second or third time that I notice something. Like where I’ve just discovered that I let myself take the easy way out of something with a bit of magic–magic that should be more . . . restricted. It’s really supposed to be limited to only certain people–not that only they can work it, but only they can benefit from it–with very rare exceptions.

So, I’m going to stop and rework that bit. And not taking the easy way out will not only make the magic work better, it will also make that part of the story better–better complications, better character development. Just . . . better.

My plan has been to finish these revisions by the end of this month–which isn’t that far away. But I’d much rather get it right than fast, so . . . we’ll just have to see what this does to my overall publication plan.

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I think.  Still working on the first round of revisions on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

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That very rough chapter needed almost a complete rewrite. And the next one needed quite a lot of work, too. Then I added a new scene to the chapter after that and went back and added a completely new (short) chapter. Oh, and in the process I made a change to the timeline, moving one major event up by a year.

I’d hoped to be half-way through this revision pass by now. After all of that, I’m closer to one-third. Still, from this point on I hope it will go more smoothly. Whether it does or not, though, I’m much happier with the story now than I was. So it was all worth it.

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Critiques

Even while I was working on the first draft of BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING, readers from my critique group were reading small batches of two or three chapters.

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One of them gave me a fairly harsh critique on one chapter. I did what you do with harsh critiques–set is aside to look at more closely later. Then, when I did the read-through, I incorporated the comments into the manuscript. Over the last two days, I’ve basically completely rewritten that chapter and it is so much better.

That’s what a good critique can do for you. Make you take a harder look at something that may be adequate, but isn’t anywhere near what it needs to be. And again, I say thank you.

I don’t ever want anyone to hold back from telling me what isn’t working, what needs more work, what just needs to be cut and forgotten about. Of course, it’s nice to hear what is working well, too. But that’s not the stuff I need to work on.

 

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Revisions on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING are progressing.

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I mentioned in an earlier post that the read-through had revealed that the first few chapters were the roughest. Nevertheless, I’ve been getting through two or three chapters a day. Until now.

Now I’m up to the one chapter that is the roughest of all. There’s almost as much red text(revision notes) as black (normal). This one’s going to need a lot of work, almost a rewrite. This one may take a while.

Part of the reason this one is so rough is that it was copied from a much earlier version of . . . well, it wasn’t exactly this story. But from an earlier (never-to-be-published) story that was eventually rewritten into part of this one. That one had a character very like my main character in the BECOME series, but he wasn’t the main character in that version, though–which was a mistake. He always was the most interesting character.

A few more chapters after this one, though, and things should get easier. I’m aiming to get at least half-way through this pass by the end of the week. There’ll be one more revision pass after this, although that won’t be a full, look-at-everything pass. Just going back to the notes I haven’t addressed or the new ones I’ve made in this pass, such as:

  1. A possible change in the timeline–and figuring out what that would mean down the line.
  2. Some adjustments to emotional blocks my character suffers from. He still needs the block, but I need to tweak the cause a bit.
  3. Considering altering certain units of measure. Miles or something else more world-specific. Same with weeks and months. Well, months work, since they’re based on the moon cycle and calling it a moon pass is sort of silly. But weeks are arbitrary and I may want to use something else. The trick is figuring out what.

 

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I’m writing this blog a little late today . . . well, tonight. But I have a good excuse. I’ve been working on the revisions of BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

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I’m only a handful of chapters in so far, but I am loving the changes. Those first few chapters were . . . not rough, exactly. But they were heavy on information. Now, some of that is unavoidable in fantasy. But this wasn’t, shall we say, as artfully done as it could have been. Now it feels much more organic. And, in the process, I think I’ve given a much better characterization of my main character.

Headed back into the editing cave.

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