So I’ve been working on the second book in the Swords and Shields series for a while now. Most recently, I’m been doing a major rewrite (literally in most cases) of the entire book to tighten up the cast and plot. I’m about two-thirds of the way through, and I’m much happier with the draft so far. The last third is both the most exciting and the most work. I’ve completely removed three characters from the book, and they played prominent roles in the last third, so I need to adjust a lot of scenes to work just as well, hopefully better, than the original versions.
April is a Camp NaNoWriMo month, so I’ve been working on the revisions for Swords & Shields book two. My goal was to rewrite the first 100 pages. I picked this number using the 250 words = 1 page formula. I neglected to actually check how many words per page my current formatting produces. It’s a little closer to 450 words per page, so I was being more ambitious than I originally thought.
Despite that, I’ve been doing very well this month. I’ve been hovering near par for the day (and even fell behind that a couple times) but going into day 26 I was one page above par at 87 pages completed. I’m confident that I’ll reach my goal this weekend and be in a good place to keep the momentum going into May and June so that I can have a completed draft before July’s Camp NaNoWriMo session.
So, a few weeks ago, I put up a post about how editing is hard. This wasn’t necessarily news for most writers, especially those who have taken the time to polish a piece for submission or publication. It felt like news to me this time around. Even though I’ve gone through the process many times before, and I have a book out, this most recent editing and revision pass has been excruciating.
But now I’ve gotten to the rewarding part. I reworked over 300,000 words worth of variously revised chapters and scenes into about 132,000 words worth of beginning, middle, and climax. I just have a few scenes worth of falling action and conclusion left. I’m beginning to get excited about having a completed draft again.
Last week, I gave you a peek into where the setting for Strong Fort Spathí originated and how it evolved into what it is today.
This week, I’d like to give you a little glimpse into how a whole book travels from first draft through revision, at least for me.
Revision, like most writing related things, is both universal and intensely personal. There are common steps, common tools, and common practices, but each author mixes and matches the steps, tools, and practices that work best for them in order to get their work done.
I’ve been working on the second book in the Swords & Shields Series since I finished the first draft of the first book, Strong Fort Spathí. When I’m working on a larger set of pieces, like a series of novels, I tend to continue the drafting of the series while I start revisions on a given book.