The other day someone asked me how many times I revise my novels. I had to laugh because I tend to lose track around draft 8.
Then she went on to ask me what my revision process involved. Now for that, I have four distinct stages I take my novels through. Each of those stages takes time and I might have to repeat all 4 stages after my critique partners review the project.
Basically, the four stages are:
1. First draft (where I just write the story down)- This is the stage I just finished. And believe me, the novel is a complete disaster. I liken it to a tsunami. I suppose it’s because I’m the kind of writer who needs to lay it all down and then sift through the rubble. And I like to write this draft as fast as possible while I’m in my character’s head.
2. Plot development draft– This is where I work the kinks out of the plot and weave the disjointed events so my readers get their “ah ha” moments. I think of this stage as a giant puzzle.
3. Character development draft– In this draft I focus on fine tuning my characters. This is where I bring them to life and hone out their internal and external conflicts.
4. World building and making all those words look pretty draft- I’m a sucker for pretty language. Not too much that it distracts from the story, but enough that it captures the mood and atmosphere of the world I’m building. This is the draft where I have to focus on details.
5. Grammar and spelling (groan)- yep, I hate spelling. I know I’m a teacher and I’ve got spell check but I still hate it.
But the most important part of all is… the chocolate. That’s the key to everything. *smile*
How about you? What part of the revision process do you really focus on?