Everyone set with their outlines all post-it noted and looking like there’s a lot of work ahead? *crickets chirp*
Right then. Well, we’re going to go ahead and press on to the next step. I recommend your favorite comfort food because this is going to sting, possibly a lot. It’s like picking off a scab. You know it’s going to hurt but you do it anyway. And then it hurts and you cry. But it scabs over again.
Your first part is to knock out the easy stuff. Pull up your latest draft, the one that’s most current and that you’ll work off of for this revision. For me, so I don’t lose anything that maybe will find its way back in later, I copy the entire manuscript to a new file and save it with a later draft number. This way I have a history of the story progress and if there’s something that’s absolutely worth putting back in later, I can access it rather than try to recreate it from memory.
The easy stuff is everything that you put a slash through two steps ago, the second step of the detailed outlining process. (Which I talk about in this post.) If there’s something in the scene that you’re deleting that you’ve marked to be moved elsewhere, I suggest you either leave that in the document file itself or you can create a separate file for those tidbits so that when you get to the next step of the process you have handy access to them.
After you’ve done that, you’ll need to move on to the next part. This is where you start brainstorming the sutures you’ll use to put your poor baby together.
Go post-it by post-it and look at what needs to be done. If it’s something you need to develop further, meaning it’s an event or some such that you’ve hinted at or foreshadowed or that came up unexpectedly when you were pantsing it, this is where you start looking for places you can do just that.
For each post-it go back through the scenes the preceded it or follow it, depending on where it needs to move or if it’s something to set up or address later, and note where you could put some sort of scene or revise a scene to help accomplish that goal.
Or something like this. You’ll have notes all over your margins on some pages. Some pages you might have nothing. It all depends on how strong the individual scenes and chapters are. Because the book is only as strong as its weakest scene or chapter or character.
That’s enough for today. This post is getting long and this step can take a day or two. Come back on Thursday (after a WiP Wednesday with my updates on how well this process is working for me.)