Goals for revision

I’ve written about my book-mapping process before. Now that I’m finally done mapping all 78 scenes for my book, I can gird up my loins for the hard work of revision.

The most important thing to me is what the book is about — not the action, but the theme. Is the book I wrote different from the one I thought I was writing? And if not, what do I need to do to fix it? Once I have a firm grip on what the book wants to be about, my entire revision can be anchored by that concept.

But revision is about a whole lot more, of course. Here are some of the things I’ll be thinking about as I revise:

  • Identify scenes that can be cut or need to be rewritten.
  • Draft any scenes that need to be added.
  • Cut or combine unnecessary characters. Round out characters who seem flat.
  • Check consistency of character voices in dialogue.
  • Balance the emotional and action plots.
  • Make sure the chronology of events makes sense.
  • Consistency of world physics, i.e., magic and powers.

A lot of this is Big Picture stuff. In addition to that, there’s the detail work: grammar, sentence and paragraph structure, rhythm, image, diction, etc.

What do you think about as you start revision? Let me know in the comments.

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