25 September 2012

Rough Draft to Revision

Q: Last week I did something I didn't know I'd be able to do though had the drive to do it. It's taken 20 months to do it, but I've completed my first draft- I have a manuscript! Woot woot! So much of your influence pushed me to it, btw!

Anyway, I was wondering how you go about re-writing/editing. Do you do a full read through first? Do you just start with spelling checking? How do you make sure it's fluid from the color of a shirt in one scene to the next, etc.....

A: Congratulations!

See my previous post for an understanding of how I define the difference between a re-write and a re-vision.

During PlotWriMo throughout the month of December, I post daily exercises designed to re-vision the rough draft you've written (as in NaNoWriMo) for the first major re-write. I've published those steps in the Before the Next Draft ebook. The exercises in The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories do the exact same thing.

Essentially, I recommend putting aside the manuscript for at least a couple of weeks. During that time, stand back and re-vision the story now that you know the beginning, middle and end.

Don't worry about the specific details until you're confident that the plot and structure are working.

Once the skeleton and foundation are in place, that's the time to concentrate on the essential plot elements in every single scene.

This is a time of taking what you wrote during the generative stage and crafting it into a story. Happy plotting!

More Plot Tips: 
1) Plot your story step-by-step with the help of The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories 

2) Read
The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master

3) Watch the Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. Scroll down on the left of this post for a directory of all the steps to the series. 27-step tutorial on Youtube

4) Watch the Monday Morning Plot Book Group Series on YouTube. Scroll down on the right of this post for a directory the book examples and plot elements discussed.

For additional tips and information about the Universal Story and plotting a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit:
Blockbuster Plots for Writers
Plot Whisperer on Facebook
Plot Whisperer on Twitter