Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Nefarious Plan

BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Jan asked yesterday WHAT my plan was, and since my plan was largely influenced by HER plan (but not quite so detailed) and since I actually wrote it OUT yesterday at Kimberly Loomis's blog because SHE was asking how WE edited... I thought maybe I would EXPAND on things here... Since I love y'all an' all...



1st: basic clean so I don’t make myself nuts on step 2

I would love to skip this step. There is no point cleaning it up when a significant portion is going to be changed, but I CAN'T not do it. For starters... I often ask for HELP after this and wouldn't want to be embarrassed by significant nincompoopery... but I ALSO just frankly don't have the ability to pay attention when there are blatent typos (which is what I hold responsible for most misspelling and grammar—I have a journalism degree that makes me not-incompetent in those areas, but my typing was never meant to be stellar—you know... world dominatrixes have secretaries named Sven and Raoul and all that...)  (Raoul ---->)


2nd: READ IT, taking notes to write the synopsis and taking notes on problems I notice (this would catch that too evil villain)

I will confess this is actually the hardest step... READING IT without TOUCHING IT (yes, notes on the side, fine... but I can't correct things and still read it with enough speed to notice the 'big picture'... if I succeed, it will be the first time, but it IS part of the plan.

3rd: WRITE the synopsis

I will credit Jan here. It is a bit of brilliance, I think... when looking at the big picture, to write it out as it IS, so you can see how strong it is. Then again, Jan wrote THREE, where I am only writing ONE. Though I am ALSO writing a scene summary (one sentence per scene)--also a Jan idea, though she called it something fancy... The purpose of THIS, is to figure out where to insert the things I've made NOTES on. The 'at a glance' work is a TOOL for the big fixes.



4th: critically evaluate at a synopsis level… what would make the GRAND PLOT better, FIX IT.

See—isn't this great? You LOOK at the big picture and then FIX the big picture. How much simpler could it get?!



5th: cut and paste (and write) so it’s all there in the right order

This is to meet all that synopsis and notes stuff... get all the pieces in place...



6th: Next round of ‘ordinary edit’ to clean up transition stuff   (Sven ---->)

This round of editing, is actually much larger than the first, because cutting, pasting, writing and rewriting can leave EDITING scars. I will need to REMOVE the repercussions of anything removed, add the repercussions of anything added, make sure the precedents and antecedents are all where they go, and that I don't repeat myself or skip something crucial.


7th: out of order read so each scene is as strong as possible

I've never done THIS before, either. I'm not positive I will have time for the Cozy, but it is definitely on my list for my suspense stuff, as it seems pretty darned important for suspense to keep pulling the reader... not that it isn't important for mystery, but cozies have other draws, too, besides just adrenaline...


8th: polish.

This is probably steps 8-20, but at least I have help finding the blemishes on this one...


So there you have it... all my secrets...

*****

And because yesterday was September 11... a day I find good for reflection, and because I have been bad and didn't really advertise as things were going UP, I invite all of you to check out our August Pay It Forward project, inspired by B. Miller (and she wrote the first drabble for this project) though the story can start anywhere, as it is circular...

20 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Never tried reading my work out of order.

Mary said...

That's quite a list. Best of luck wit it all.

Ted Cross said...

I like to buy a hardcopy from LuLu.com so I can read it like a real book and make notes directly on the page. I also make several sweeps through, looking for different things each time, such as differing the voices for each character, making the prose better, etc. I am just getting torn between wanting to edit and wanting to write the next book!

LTM said...

Hooray for Raol! He seems like a v. good secy... :D

And wow. Great plan. I've never done that whole out of order thing either. How does it work? best of luck w/revisions. That's the toughest part~ <3

Tessa Conte said...

Sounds like a great list! Good luck and don't forget to have fun, too!

Hart Johnson said...

Alex, me neither, but I've heard the recommendation a LOT--worth a try.

Thank you, Mary!

Ted--totally never thought of that! I'm afraid of Lulu, but I know it's irrational. I would also love to do several sweeps but I read sort of slow... and get caught in the editing...

Leigh-Isn't he FABULOUS! Great to find a man who will work Naked... I've heard on the out of order, playing 'pick-up' (tossing the pages and grabbing one) but then you miss any sentences not all on the page. I will probably use a random number generator or some such geekdom...

Hart Johnson said...

Tessa-you snuck in there on me! Thank you!

Cold As Heaven said...

Looks like a plan. Reading out of order seams to be fun >:)

Cold As Heaven

Falen (Sarah) said...

oooh i'm with you on step #1. I'm working my way through it right now. My issue was that without the cleanup, all the dirt was distracting while i was trying to do the bigger stuff. Also, i just cannot bring myself to send it out to betas without giving it a cleanup.

Lisa said...

I just finished step one last night. This couldn't be more perfectly timed! Thank you.

Jan Morrison said...

I was wondering who this hellfire person named Jan was when I realized you meant me!!! Lots of those ideas came from other sources though and just filtered through me - I think I credited everyone in my blog - not sure. I've done pretty much all of this except the out of order stuff and the final edits. I was talking to a friend of mine who has had several books published - she calls the revision I'm doing now 'a story revision' and I've been calling it a 'plot and structure' revision. hmmm...I have to say doing the 'beat sheet' board has been very helpful! I am in the last four chapters of the novel and though I still have a big knot to work out I can see the end of this, the hardest revision. Polishing and language edits and beefing up the themes and the characters I think I can do pretty handily. It's the main story that keeps alluding me - the novel in the novel I suppose. So GOOD WORK there tartlette! Keep on keeping on and so shall I and we'll crest that hill together and have a GIANT pitcher of mojitos or whatever we want when we get there, served by your troup of toothsome lads.

Old Kitty said...

Ooooh secrets!!!

I think I'm at the Looking at the Big Picture and tearing my hair out to fix it at the moment...!!! Not nice! LOL!

Take care
x

Carolyn Abiad said...

Now that's why I should have been blogging all along. I had to figure all that stuff out myself and here you have it in a lovely little list! I really like the out of order idea, thinking I might try it. Then I'll try the "read it out loud" idea and see where I stand.

@Ted I downloaded the paperback format from lulu so I can print out what I need for revisions, betas, etc. It might be cheaper for Lulu to do it, but I don't have to wait for the UPS truck!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Still stuck on that first photo... and that's not a bad thing!

Cheeseboy said...

I thoroughly approve with every point in this post except for the picture of the naked man... although my wife thanks you.

Shayda Bakhshi said...

Fantastic post! Definitely bookmarking this for future use. Also, I love the helpful visuals. I'm a very visual learner, and I approve. ;)

cassandrajade said...

I don't know that I could read my work out of order. My brain would be insisiting something was wrong the whole time. Like opening a new novel at midway and just starting to read.

Still, some great advice here.

Deb and Barbara said...

Reading the chapters out of order sounds quite genius. Thanks for the nefarious secrets. Together we can change the world-world-world (the last 2 worlds are the echo...fyi...whatever)

Hart Johnson said...

Very funny that several of us are in the exact same spot in process... I finished my hard copy edit this afternoon, but am now getting them into my document... STILL short on words *grrrrr*

Of COURSE it's you Jan!!! I told you how brilliant I thought YOUR plan was! Why try to improve on that? (Though I did pare it down because I know me too well)

*giggles at Cheeseboy* I just have to do that sometimes... (and some people seem to like them...)

Shadya-WELCOME! I don't think I've seen you here before! YAY for book marked posts!

Cassandra-I have some fear of that, but I've heard it too many times to not try it at least once... I'll see how it goes...

*snickers* Barbara--Having world domination aspirations, this fits my plan well!

Cinette said...

I'm afraid I had problems focusing on the gist of the article. I'm not exactly sure what it was that distracted me...