Friday, April 8, 2011


I finished the first draft of my work in progress. I set it aside for a little bit. That was hard, but well worth the effort. I spent the time off going to the beach with the kids and reading tons. Sadly, I think I added even more to the TBR list than I crossed off.

Now the real work on the book begins. I took a class with Lani Dianne Rich on revising a manuscript that gave me a road map of how to do this. I'm nearly done with my first read through the book. I've been taking pages of notes and I've got my post-its all ready to map out the plot. I'm going to do a variation of my classmate Kay Elam's posterboard.

Mine will lack the detailed notes, color coded sticky dots and visual representation of the rising action of the story arc. I'll make do with a few post-its on the wall. But I'm hoping that being able to look at the story like this will give me a good feel for how the pace of the book is slow or perhaps too fast. During the class, I just did this in Scrivener (despite Lani's excellent advice not to), but I think this might be a different and easier experience. Should have listened to Lani.

I struggled revising the book I had finished before Lani's class, but I am still ever so glad that I took it. I learned so much about pacing and the structure of a novel just clicked for me that I can't believe how much easier this draft has been to write. So far the editing is easier, too. Lani is offering a free spot in one of next month's classes, in case you're feeling lucky.

I'm lucky that I have some writer friends who are editing as well, so I have no shortage of moral support. Teresa is even blogging about her editing as she goes along. It can seem a bit overwhelming to have a whole book to revise the first time, but there is a lot of advice out there when you get stuck.

Any other great editing advice?

ETA: Serenity Woods reminded me of a helpful page on her blog about editing.


  1. I love Teresa word ADDiting! I am not at the editing stage, just starting my wip really but I am planing to submit to that shifter pitch you put up so I will be following your guys advise when I get there!

  2. That's a very impressive posterboard and the course sounds great. Lots of luck with the editing!

  3. This looks very complicated, but interesting as I'm a logical girl. I must read up on this method - are there any books on it? Looks like Teresa has invented a classic word we shall all be using form now on. Please blog some more about your editing process, a lot of us seem to have got to this stage. Thanks. Mx

  4. Cherie, I certainly will be additing!

    Lacey, I've read some of Kay's book and it's just as impressive!

  5. Morton, Lani's class was amazing. The poster board thing is certainly something I've seen around, but after going through the class with the other people and getting to ask all my questions, I have a much clearer idea of where I'm going.

    I'll definitely post more on the topic. It'll be the only thing I think about for quite some time I think!

  6. Gah, hate editing. But I've learned so much from my editors and I like to think I'm writing better now. As you know, I have an editing page on my blog with details I've picked up along the way. It's harder when there are big problems to solve. In my last book I resolved the conflict too early and petered out, and had to go back and rewrite a quarter of the book. Like pulling teeth. Not to self... plot better before you start!

  7. Thanks for reminding me of that page on your blog! I added a link to it at the bottom of this post.

  8. Go you, Julia! I have no editing advice alas. Actually, the only thing I can say is don't keep a scene that doesn't do anything just because you like one line of it. Yes, I have been known to do that. :-)