Entering Phase Two

I wanted to be finished with Phase One by today. I have one and a half chapters to go, and those will be knocked out by tonight. So by my reckoning, I made my goal.

[Update: I finished Phase One by 7 pm. Go me!]

I admit. With the exception of the first chapter (which has been written and rewritten, recently at that), the begin was rough to read. I could see the progression of my craft as I went along. At one point I almost gave up on the draft, I thought it was that bad. Then last night I noticed something. I didn’t want to put it down. The story sucked me in so completely, I went to bed hours later than I had intended.

Now that’s a good sign. If I could do that by the middle of the book, I know I can fix the beginning to do the same. By that token, the book is saved.

So on to the next phase!

This next phase still doesn’t have anything to do with actually writing. Don’t worry. I’ll get there. It involves note cards and cork board (and maybe part of a wall if the board isn’t big enough). Every scene and character in the book is to get a note card. The character note is card is to ensure that each character remains constant throughout the novel. No eye color changes or the like.

The scene cards I’ll arrange on the cork board in order as they appear in the book.  Once they’re all up, I’ll fiddle with them to get them in an order that might make more sense. I should also be able to spot holes easier that’ll need to be filled with new scenes. This will also point out redundant scenes. Then I get to decide which ones get the axe.

Since I’ve been re-acquainted with the story, Phase Two should go much faster than the first phase. In fact in future WiPs, I won’t need this phase. As I write the original draft, I plan to make the corresponding note card. That’ll save valuable time. I don’t recommend skipping Phase One, though. It’s important to get an impression from the overall manuscript.

By this time next week I hope to be sharing how Phase Three is going. Are you working on revisions? If so, do you have a plan of attack? How’s that going for you?

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