Before we get into the post, I wanted to clear something up. I mentioned in my book tag that I was looking forward to reading a book called The Baker's Daughter. I am sorry to say that this book did not meet my expectations and I cannot recommend it. There were a few things that I didn't know when I bought it and if I had, I probably wouldn't have purchased it. First, the author is apparently Catholic as the book only talks about Jewish and Catholic faith as if they are the only ones out there. Second, the book was a romance...not my genre. Aside from that, the writing style was difficult to follow for me personally and many questions remained unanswered. Perhaps the author plans to make this into a series? I'm not sure.
It is not my intention to tear down another author in any way. These are my personal opinions and I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with the author when I bought the book. But I must say that this is not the kind of book that I can promote.
*Dramatic Radio Voice* I now return you to your regularly scheduled program 😉
Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, whichever suits you! I hope wherever you are that you are having a lovely day! Welcome back to my series on writing! I am no expert on writing, but since it is something I do, I am constantly learning new things and I love sharing them with you! If you’ve missed the first three installments of this series you can find them here, here and here. Let’s begin, shall we?
You’ve drafted your story from start to finish! Good job! Give yourself a reward and breathe a sigh of relief. You’re ready to head to the press! *Grins* Okay, so not quite. I don’t care who you are, there is only One who ever had their book ready on the first draft and that was God. Sorry, first drafts, except the Holy Bible, are TERRIBLE! I smile when I look over my original drafts of my books, but I cringe at the same time. They are awful. So, here are the steps I take to get my book ready for the next stage. Note: Bathe every step in prayer! That is the key to success!
1. Take a break. After drafting my story, it’s tempting to jump right into revising the story. But I need a break. I need to catch up on other projects, take time to relax a little and make sure I’m not taking too much time away from my family. I like to take a minimum of one week away from my story, but two or more is ideal. This way when I get back into the story, I’m looking at it with fresh eyes. I’ll catch my plot holes easier this way 😊
2. Remember, I’m not editing. It’s tempting to want to go through editing the story, fixing all the little grammatical things that catch my eye. If it’s a spelling error or a wrong word, I go ahead and fix it, but I try not to be too picky. I’m revising, not editing.
3. Read the story and take notes. I’m watching for unanswered questions, scenes that need more information, not as much or that just need to be scrapped altogether. I also note ideas that I’ve got that I want to add, such as a whole new plot line or a different outcome for a certain character. For example, in my second book, Our Heritage to Save, I originally had Dixie and Lana at Fredericksburg, Va. for the battle and getting trapped in the town when the Federals took over. I changed it however and the girls were not there at all. Instead, I decided to make one of my soldiers, Alvin Willis, the main focus of the overthrow of the town. This actually caused many people to become attached to him in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I accidentally made him an important character! But it’s been good though, for I myself have gotten to learn more about him while writing my other books. 😉
4. Revise. I take all my notes and go through fixing the things I’ve found. Sometimes, I make a whole different document and copy the story into it, just in case I don’t like the changes. That way, I can start over if I need to.
5. Repeat Steps 1-4…as much as needed. For me, I repeat the process about three times 😊 This allows me to get pretty much satisfied with my story and prepare myself for editing. But that’s another post in itself. And to be honest, a lot of the time, I end up doing some revisions while I edit. *Sighs* Writers are never 100% happy with their work 😊 But that’s the beauty of being a writer. If something in the story isn’t working for you, you have the power to change it! But don’t worry. At some point, you will hit that point of “This is how this story was meant to be. This is the way it needs to go,” and when you do, you know it’s ready 😊
So, those are my steps for revising my stories! Next time we talk about writing, we’ll be talking about the Self-Edit! Stay tuned!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.