Truth: the revision is going slowly. I wish I was editing. Editing means that the story structure is finished, the stuff that needed cutting is already on the floor and the new raw material has already been written. Editing, to me, implies that sentence-by-sentence smoothing and polishing before sending it out to the Beta Readers, fingers crossed and loins girded.
But I’m not editing. I am revising and at times the process feels like walking through a mud bog in oversized rubber boots. I’m squelching through the muck and just as I yank up one boot from the mire and take a step forward, the other foot is now goodly-stuck and threatens to slip off my foot and leave me peg-legged where I stand.
However, I had a revelation (aka the Epic DUH moment) the other day that’s cheered me immensely. There is a difference — a huge, important, galactic-sized difference — between revising your scene structure for the novel and revising your timeline of events. These are not equivalent things. Trying to figure out what-happens-when in the chronology of the novel at the same time as trying to select what scenes to dramatize and from which viewpoint character has not worked for me. SPECTACULARLY not worked for me.
Not saying that it can’t be done. I fully concede that either a) a novel with a single POV character or possibly two might be manageable whereas my 4-6 POVs are not or b) I just don’t have the brain power to compute both at the same time. Also, option c) I might get better at doing both at the same time in the future, a few more novels in, but that ain’t gonna help me now.
My (constant) issue is not being able to SEE the whole thing at once. I love my little MacBook, but the teeny-tiny screen is killing me. (Further pining for the big iMac … oh, it’s coming … it’s coming …) And I haven’t found an effective way to transport this part of the job around with me to work away from the computer, like at the day job. I’ve written lists, but they are inherently inflexible. Even Scrivener’s index card feature hasn’t helped — I simply cannot see enough of them at once.
So I’ve gone minimalist and (horrors!) old school. I’ve cracked open MS Word and I am using the outline feature. I am just slamming all the events into the document to determine the timeline, along with any additional scene notes that come to mind as I type. Once that document is solid, then I will go back and pick the best places to dramatize and from which POV and enter them into Scrivener.
I know that once I push through this sticky part, I will be released, back to writing new material and bouncy-happy! Just gotta work through it. Off I go.
In other news, I have received and since sent back my contract for my first short story sale. As soon as the story goes live, I’ll be all link-posty with it.
I have the envelope the contract came in pinned up to my cork board. ♥