Like many writers, I have more than one Work-In-Progress (WIP) at any time. I have sent out one WIP to beta readers, and I have FINALLY gotten back to my revision WIP, Veritas. I had not worked on Veritas since June 28th, which gave me all sorts of angst. But this past week I was able to revise 4,878 words—4 chapters.
One reason not being able to work on Veritas was eating at me was because I was in a pivotal point in my writing process. I mentioned that I have returned to writing longhand at certain points in my process. I began doing that last year, when I realized that I could not revise deeply on the screen—and the first chapter I revised longhand was Chapter 51 of Veritas. I revised in that manner to the end of the book, then started at the beginning. And where was I in the revision when everything ground to a halt in June?
Chapter 50. One chapter away from closing the loop.
This revision has been slow, as I expected. After all, some chapters I was writing longhand almost from scratch. Other chapters I would write longhand just the sections of the chapter that really needed more depth added. Still, it’s a long process when you’re dealing with an entire novel.
But this week, I closed the gap. And now that I am back into the section I already revised longhand, I can see that I will be faster from here to the end. Sure, there’s still places I need to fix, but I think they are all fixes I feel I can do on-screen.
My experiment into revising longhand has been a success. I see more depth, more creativity in word choice, more subtle character development, and a distinct change in my writing style. I still have to figure out at what point I want to use longhand when I start novels from scratch, but I will definitely use it.
What tricks have you learned that help you with the revision process? And if you use longhand, where in your process do you use it?