Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Revising and Rewriting

Right now I'm in the process of revising the sequel to A Mage's Power, Looming Shadow. I've been stuck in chapter 8 for a while now because I'm doing more rewriting than revising. I finished the first draft years ago and I have revised it several times since then; I added 1/3 onto its length to improve the plot and better explain important events. Now I'm going through it line by line and I've found heaps of stuff to expand on, detail, and otherwise, improve.

Victoria Grefer, over on  Creating Writing with the Crimson League,, likes to quote Stephen King and his 'two month rule'. It states that a writer should stay away from a WIP for two months before looking over it for revision so they look at the story with a fresh mind. I believe this to be true. There is no other explanation for why I missed so much in my previous drafts; I usually wait two days.

The second chapter, for instance, looked like a glorified outline. I couldn't believe it when I read it last month because I had read so many times before. I went to work adding sensory detail to this scene, and adding this other scene wholesale so this new town will be consistent in culture and technology with another town in the first book. I discovered new potential for character relationships that worked fantastically as foreshadowing for later events. I wanted to smack myself for missing something that, in retrospect, was obvious.

I feel as if I am rewriting the book instead of revising it which will put me at an earlier stage in the writing process which means more revision to come which means it will take longer to publish which is frustrating. Hopefully the rest of the story won't require the same level of revision but if that's what that's what it takes then that's what I'll do. Making the story the best it can be is the point of this step in the writing process.


  1. I understand your rush to publish, but revisions are important. It's better to have a good book than a quick one.

    1. That's why I took my time with chapter 8 and the other chapters before it.

    2. When is the next book due out ?