24 June 2008

Welcome to Hell

Revision Hell, That Is

So Joely's hosting Revision Hell between now and July 31st... well, not "hosting" per se... but... well... yanno, it was her idea! So I'm nominating her as Hell's Hostess. :-D

Here are my personal Circles of Novel Hell:

Polish ('til it shines like the top of the Chrysler Building...)
Circle I Limbo

Add Details, Emotion and Other Pretty Things
Circle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy Wind

Villian Boot Camp
Circle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & Snow

Cardboard Cut-Out Characters
Circle IV Rolling Weights

I'll-Finish-It-Later Scenes
Circle V Stuck in Mud, Mangled

River Styx

Character Arcs That Don't
Circle VI Buried for Eternity

River Phlegyas

Pruning Dead Limbs
Circle VII Burning Sands

Plot Spaghetti
Circle IIX Immersed in Excrement

Plot Holes
Circle IX Frozen in Ice

Design your own hell

The Goal: Revise something. For me that'll be Novel #1. Why? Well, mostly because I can hardly make it worse. Eh-heh.

OK, I know, I know - I need to be more specific than that. Ahem. Let's try that again.

The Goal (Take 2): Take the 176,663 words/374 pages (single-spaced...yes, really) of plot spaghetti and hack it down to 100,000, whilst filling in the blanks and smoothing over the jagged edges.

The Plan: That's not as ambitious as it looks, actually, since I finally realized I'm going to need three books to tell the story and - lo and behold - once I realized that, the three parts fell into place with a very satisfactory whump!. So the cutting part should be easy, 'cuz I'm just gonna hack off the bits after the end of the first bit (the last two-thirds of what I have) and stick it in a new file called Books_Two_and_Three.

After that, the real work begins, the most crucial part of which will be getting that all important Character Arc established for my martial arts mistress of a Princess and her drug addict of a Prince Charming. And then I'll get all my little Villian ducks in a row and slap 'em.

I figure I can manage about 2 pages or about 1000 words of editing a day. That's not a lot, but I'm going to be realistic. We've got holidays. We've got grant deadlines. We've got vacations to The Homeland (which involves a 2-day car ride - one way, ouch - which might be good editing time - let's hope so).

So probably, I won't get all the way through a full edit. But I'll get a good start. And that'll be cool!



Joely Sue Burkhart said...

What a hellacious plan!

Bethanie said...

Tell me about it! :-D