Back in December, I mentioned that I was going to be joining Holly Lisle‘s How To Revise Your Novel (HTRYN) class.
I waffled a little for a few days on which manuscript to take through the class. I debated on running Sentinels of Mysera through it, but decided that learning this method of revision would be best with an actual rough draft version of a project, which meant that Battle of the Bargaws (SoM‘s sequel) would be put through the revision wringer.
If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that I’ve been posting a picture or so a week of my progress and you’re welcome to follow my page if you want a sneak peek at what I’m working on each week.
Personal opinion here, but Holly Lisle has a brilliant mind and her willingness to teach others how she does what she does is greatly appreciated by so many.
I wasn’t sure how Holly Lisle would manage to make revision into a 22-lesson/week course.
I now know better.
In a nutshell, Holly has you start out with very big picture stuff, reading through the manuscript and looking for spots that you love and spots where things fall apart, then you’re going through it again and marking characters, items, and ‘promises’ you made in the manuscript. Then you’re pulling apart your story into scenes, looking for plots, subplots, and then for conflicts, and so on.
Basically, she’s got you looking at the big picture of the story first and making all sorts of notes on worksheets and cards. Other than some reference marks in the manuscript, I haven’t actually changed a single thing in BotB yet. But the notes and the ideas that are piling up… wow! She’s got me looking at angles I’ve never thought of and as each day goes by, new life is being breathed into this story where I never thought it possible.
This has gone far beyond the ‘old’ method of revision I had tried in the past, where I basically started on Page 1 and started changing things as I thought they needed done.
And I dare say it’s better.
Not easy, but better.
I’m a little stalled out on Lesson #5 at the moment, working through the conflict of each scene and why it matters, but I’m progressing pretty close to my original schedule of one lesson a week with a target of finishing revision on BotB in May. And that should be finished and ready for content editors to read over. Holly has called it a “One-Pass Revision” and I now understand why she can revise a manuscript one time, because if this method is at all similar to how she personally revises, she essentially gets all the bases covered that could possibly need it.
I’ve added a couple progress bars over on the right hand side so you can track my progress on revision (as well as for the 2016 Reading Challenge).