In December I pretty much finished the first, very rough version of my new YA novel, which I’m extremely excited about. Why? Because for a long time I’ve wanted to write about necromancers, and in this book I’ve done it. Of course, I’ve twisted the creatures a lot, for uniqueness and to fit in with the mythology I’m using.
Anyway, I’m getting completely off track.
It’s early January, and as planned, this is the time to start my revisions. As I mentioned in an earlier post, my plan was to print out the full manuscript. Check. Then read it one go from beginning to end. Check.
I did that yesterday, and it took me all day. I restrained my inner editor from marking the printed manuscript with small changes, missing commas etc, and focused on the larger picture. I made short comments on a note pad after each chapter, about a number of things, including:
- Whether I connected with the character. Why / why not?
- Was the setting easy to visualise – did it make sense?
- Did the story keep me interested the whole time. If not, which parts felt slow or boring.
- Did the chapter make sense in terms of the overall plot?
- Did I want to continue reading on after each chapter?
- Did each chapter have a purpose to the overall plot?
Six pages later of notes, I was exhausted. But the next morning, I reviewed them and was surprised to see that I was able to read the book as reader instead of a writer. My notes showed me the weak points of each chapter, along with anything that needs to be foreshadowed in earlier chapters. I’m happy with the outcome.
And now as I tackle each chapter in revision, I’ll know which areas to pay extra attention to.
I’m curious. How do you tackle the first draft of your manuscript?