Stuck in revisions
Just recently, I finished a first draft. It’s a pretty solid first draft, if I can say so myself. There aren’t too many major holes, it clips along at a nice pace, and there are even a few moments that really shine. An excellent place to start.
The trouble is, now I’m stuck. It’s time to start revising, taking my mediocre first draft and adding, subtracting and reworking until it becomes something that sparkles. There are some parts of the editing process that I’m comfortable with. I know how to strengthen characters and bring the setting to life. I feel pretty comfortable heading in with my highlighter to identify phrases that are a little flat and tweaking them ’til they shine. And, believe it or not, I love copy editing.
When it comes to revising for plot, though, I’m feeling completely overwhelmed. I know my plot has a couple of pacing issues, needs a little bit of suspense added into the mix, and could use an additional subplot (or the ones that exist could use some fleshing out). The scope of wrangling a novel-length plot and figuring out what else it needs (and what it doesn’t need) is starting to make me hyperventilate the more I think about it. For better or worse, I’d better just plunge into it and see what happens.
I think I’ll start by outlining my existing plot, in the hope that seeing it in abbreviated form will help me figure out where it needs to be improved. I would love to hear any revision advice that you have, though. Where do you start? Have you read any great books on the subject?