Revising a novel gives me the same dread I felt when writing the saggy middle of my story. I was standing at the beginning of an unending cracked desert and had no idea how to get to the other side. Mouth goes dry. As does every impulse. But in order to get from a crappy first draft to a polished manuscript, you have to go through the storm—the parts that hold your story together, the big stuff. Luckily, I've pieced this process into three steps that keep me sane.
There’s nothing more overwhelming than sitting down to a messy draft and preparing yourself for revision. You know there are problems, you may even know what to fix, but then all that text seems like a storm of activity ready to confuse and drown you. Are you ready for an easy way to organize your scenes?
How do we start a story that’s been consuming us for weeks, maybe even months? Do we begin describing some backstory to give readers immediate context or do we throw readers directly in the middle of an action-packed moment?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the mantra “show, don’t tell” and I always want to shake my fist and say “not always.”