More on Revision
Or is that Moron Revision? Anyways, as usual, I’m now five months into my revision of Steam Palace. I’m now at the point where I’m in a full rewrite and done with all the endless analysis. So much stuff is changing that it’s hard to keep up. I now have to figure how twins were separated at birth. D’ohh!
I’m trying to avoid getting sucked into the Evil Twin meme. Even though the twins grow up on the opposite side of the tracks, I don’t want one to be the polar opposite of the other. And then there’s the so-called love triangle, where my MC is marrying one guy but is in love with another. Well that damn twin messes everything up, because she loves the guy the MC is supposed to marry, but then gets with the guy the MC loves….it’s a horrid mess. BTW I’m NOT a romance writer. So now I have a Love Quadrangle (or is it a Love Square?). Help…me……
And then there’s this new element, this whole backstory that explains why and how my alternate history is alternate. And I’ve barely touched on it, and it’s an integral part of the story.
So right now, I’ve printed out what should be the first third of my novel (Act I + maybe a little Act II) and I’m going over it with a fine-tooth comb. I can see a lot of issues in the printed version I can’t see in Word. Aside from writing down all the story issues I find, marking up poor sentences, and checking consistency, I’m rating every scene on these dimensions on a 0-10 scale. Then I add a comment to justify the score.
|World/Setting||How real is the setting? How unique is the world?|
|Conflict||How intense/interesting is the conflict? How can it be improved?|
|Tension||How much will the reader care about what happens here?|
|Twist||How big, permanent, and irreversible are the actions in the scene (the outcome)?|
|POV||How strong/deep/intimate is the POV? Do we really feel the emotional arc of the scene?|
|Importance||Probably the most “important” dimension…how important is this scene is the grand scheme of things? Turning points should be 8-10, pure backstory should be 0-3. How much does this scene contribute to the Main Plot?|
|Character||How believable are the character’s actions? Are they “in character?” Would they really do these things or am I making them act for my own convenience?|
|Continuity/Transition||How does this scene flow from the previous to the next scene? Do we know where/when we are relative to other scenes? Are we missing anything in between?|
|Theme||How strongly does this scene express the Main Theme of the novel? Do we go off on tangents?|
And now here’s my write-up for Scene 4 to give you an example. I probably need to be harsher on the numbers, but I’m still fleshing out my system.