A Lot To Think About

A Lot To Think About

Finally, I have finished the latest read through of Prophecy(Working title). Now that the story is fresh in my mind, I’m going back to add the little details I know I left out. Armed with notes from myself and from some revisers I’m ready to beef up the story.  What a fun thing to be able to do. I spent countless hours slimming up BiaAtlas because that story is a long one, that it’s a totally different experience to have room to embellish.

I re-highlighted my filter words as I explained in Well colour me silly, I was pleased to find most of them are now at an acceptable level thanks to my last revision.

I revise in a step by step process. It’s probably not efficient but it works for me. I focus on one task at a time so I don’t get horribly distracted or miss things I shouldn’t miss. There is a lot to think about when revising and editing. Sometimes it can feel or become overwhelming. Which is why I break it down.

The things I focus on individually are:

  • Filter Words
  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Chapter Structure
  • The little details

I will highlight the filter words for all my read-throughs to see if I can find a better way to structure the sentence without them. Sometimes I can and sometimes I can’t.

Then there are the broader things I do and try to keep in mind on every read through

  • Story flow
  • Foreshadows
    • Major in story foreshadows
    • Major or minor sequel foreshadows 
    • Minor character or side story foreshadows
  • Continuity
    • Clothing
    • Appearance
    • Object continuity as mentioned in my post Where did it go?
    • Character quirks
    • Timeline 
    • Seasonally appropriate references as mentioned in Tulips in July
  • Chapter length and structure (I will get into this in more detail another time.
  • Conversation flow
    • Is it believable?
    • Does it flow?
    • Is it engaging or fluff?
    • Can it be narrative instead of dialogue?
  • Is everyone present? As in did anyone disappear? Like I talked about in Who are you again? 

There is a lot to think about and I’m sure I’ve missed a point or two. Regardless I have a process and it works for me.

My advice about all the things to think about while revising
Find a method that works for you and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to try new methods, but don’t ever let anyone dubious or otherwise tell you that your method is wrong. 

-Sheryl

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

Dubious

But I hate that

When I write or shall I say revise, I find ways to polish what I’ve written and employ some or all of the things I have found and learned. One thing I have recently been thinking about are our key character differences. Our differences make us unique from one another, this should also be true to characters of a story. I’ve talked about likes and dislikes and how they can bring about interesting conversation and plot turns. But what about hate?

The hate of a certain food, colour, object, task, job, behavior or even another person. I personally only give my good behaving characters one or two hates and they may or may not ever come up in the story unless they are pertinent or it can inject humor, tension, foreshadows or even comradery into a scenario.

I don’t mean the “Ooh I hate that.” Kind of hate, I mean the deep down, loathing-avoid-it-at-all-costs kind of hate. The sort of thing that Antagonists are riddled with.

A hatred of something or someone can be the entire purpose of a characters drive. Not everyone that hates is a bad person.

Anne’s smile faded as she approached the house. The loathsome sound of a small dog barking behind the door made her toes curl. The door opened before she could knock and the vile creature bounded out at her. Taking a step back, she gave herself points for not punting the yappy monster nipping at her shoes and jumping up at her legs.

Valery waited while her date loaded up his vendor hotdog with condiments. He didn’t know it was a test. If he reached for the bottle of vomit, she would bail on him. Petty, but anyone who ate relish was as vile as they come. You could kick a dog and she’d find a way to forgive, but to willingly consume the slimy, chunky, tangy booger-barf was a no go for her. He squeezed the bottle and it oozed out with small fart noises; she grimaced as her stomach lurched. Too bad, he was a great kisser.

Baylor crouched quietly waiting for his quarry. With each passing minute, his body tensed a little more, the grinding of his teeth his only company in the dark yard. The nearby animals sensing his furious presence wouldn’t resume their night-song or dare approach. His nostrils flared as car headlights approached. Nobody has gotten away before, nobody. Let alone have him arrested. She ruined everything, now he had to become someone else to be happy. A tainted happiness all because of some whore tease who tempted too many men falsely. If she lived through his payback, he didn’t care. It would be a first, he liked them to suffer forever, but this one, oh, this one destroyed his control, she who wasn’t even the real target to begin with, would pay dearly.

When I give a protagonist or supporting character a hatred, I try to make it interesting, against the norm or flat out weird. That way the reader will be shocked or taken aback by the hatred. It makes a person more believable it they If I have an antagonist with bundles of hatred, I would let it out slowly or hide it from the world in which they live. Perhaps the reader would be given glimpses, with a show gesture or two. Or, with an action or conversation that starts to elude to their deep seeded hatred. They are after all the one that throws the protagonist challenge after challenge until one of them wins.

My advice about hatred.
Keep it believable. Unique to the character, but not overwhelming if they are not the villain. If possible work the hatred into the plot as a device for conversation, character building or even the whole point of the story. Have fun with hatred, but remember most people keep such powerful emotions tucked away, deep down and loathe even to talk about it.

-Sheryl

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 Relish