Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Is A Good Polish Enough?
Or do you need a whole new pair of shoes? Sometimes, no matter how hard you work at it, shining your shoes isn't going to get them looking as good as you'd like. That's when it's time to throw in the towel and buy a new pair of shoes. You friendly bloggers have listened to me for the last three months about my revision woes, and for that, I am very grateful. You guys are the best. I have to admit to you today, though, that what I've been doing has turned more into rewriting than revising. How do I know the difference? Well, let's just say that I've tossed more scenes than I've kept, and I've changed just about every sentence in one way or another. I've kept the same basic story line and, aside from eliminating a couple of secondary characters, the cast has remained the same. Some, although very few, scenes have remained in tact, but other than that, it's a whole new manuscript. I knew from the start of these revisions that I would be adding at least three completely new chapters to the beginning, but until I got past that, I had no idea the amount of rewriting I would have to do to the existing chapters. When deciding if a scene should stay, I looked at a couple of things. First of all, I determined if the scene had both an internal and external turning point. If it had neither, I tossed it. If it had one but not the other, I tried to add the missing one. If I couldn't, I tried combining it with another scene. When all that failed, I tossed it. Second, I gauged how long I was spending revising the scene. If it had been an unreasonable amount of time and I still wasn't happy with it, I tossed it and started over. Sometimes, it's just time for something new. How do you determine which scenes to cut when you are revising/rewriting?