Revision, Part I

On the 12th of this month, I posted that once I started on revisions of After We’ve Fallen, that I’d fall back to posting once a week. Well, that time has come—I began revising on Thursday of last week—but I’m not certain that I’ll be posting only one time in seven days. I find that thought a little depressing, and as many of you know, I have so much to say, I’m not sure I can only post once a week. We’ll see.

But I wanted to let you know that as much as I am thrilled to be in the revision stage of this book, the whole process still sucks (pardon my French, as they say). Why? Because the lovely editor I hired—who was so spot-on with her critique—included instructions like this:

In revision, ask how you might structure the scene to imply the takeaway for the reader. You’ve created genuine characters in this story, so you can always begin by asking what the character wants in a given scene and what they are willing to do to get it. Then ask what is getting in the way of that desire, and now the fun begins because you can imagine pretty endless possibilities for the scene if you stay true to who the character is vs. what’s handy for the book’s message.

Ack. And ack again. The editor wrote that little paragraph with respect to Chapter 24 of my book, but of course, she means for me to use the technique throughout the story. The question is, how, exactly do I do that?

I know enough about writing to fix diction problems, too much exposition or backstory, or fatigued dialogue. I even know enough about my characters to really understand who they are.  So in essence, I should be able to stay true to who the character is and I should know their desire and what might be getting in the way. But constructing a scene in the way she suggests? My heart is fluttering in panic here, and I have to say, I’m not confident that I have the skills.

So where does that leave me? I’m not sure. I’ll let you know the next time I check in on this whole revision process.

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Christina Consolino is a mother, dreamer, author, editor and teacher from Dayton, Ohio. She's a member of the Plot Sisters and teaches Anatomy & Physiology at Sinclair Community College. She writes literary women's fiction, personal essays and more.

2 comments

  1. Lacking confidence is a sign you’re heading in the right direction! 🙂 You’ve got this, Christina.

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