Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Revising in bits and pieces

After getting some *great* notes on the first chapter of my new novel (thanks, KS!), it occurs to me that perhaps a better way to revise a novel draft is by breaking the whole thing into separate, chapter-size files and treating each like a short story. This idea also comes after my husband's remark last night, to wit: "Isn't a novel just like a bunch of short stories strung together?" To which I replied, "No, Jesus Christ, it's nothing like a bunch of short stories strung together."

But the advantage of working with separate, story-sized files seems to be that it prevents one (or me, at least) from racing through the revision process, skimming along the surface of the whole giant thing in order to get to the end (second draft: done!). With these 25-page files, I'm more likely to come to the end of each, and then go back to the beginning of that same file again, polishing and shaping each section on a sentence level--as I would when revising a story.

I'm a little leery of dealing with all these separate files, but I can already see that it slows me down and forces much closer and deeper attention.

Have I once again stated the obvious with a sense of great discovery?

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