The manuscript was originally at 40,000 words, so it’s a big percentage to increase it to at least 50,000 words. I’ve made a lot of headway, though, and am now down to adding a minimum of 3,500 words.
I’ve felt some pressure to get this done, pressure that I’ve put on myself because my editor isn’t pushing me at all, but giving me the time and space I need to complete the revision. However, I’ve set a deadline of Monday May 26. Luckily, I have no plans for the Memorial Day holiday, so I can spend the weekend with BIC writing. (For those who don’t know, “BIC” was coined by author Jane Yolen and stands for “Butt In Chair,” meaning that’s what it takes to get your writing done!
The Castle Blues Quake is a manuscript I worked on in an online class I took: “Empowering Characters’ Emotions” taught by Margie Lawson. I’ve mentioned her and the class previously in this blog, and it was one of the best classes on writing I’ve ever taken.
Now, I’ve been looking back at what I learned, and it’s been helping me with this revision. The lessons and exercises from the class taught me to dig deeper into my characters. This not only improved my characters, but also, many times, improved the plot.
An exercise that we did throughout the course was to take a line, a paragraph, or a complete scene and work on “amplifying” it. To take a character’s reaction or a description, for instance, and amp it up, bring to the next level.
I’m using this technique with my revision. The thing is, I’m not just adding words. I’m enhancing the story, making the characters more real with deeper emotions, which will, hopefully, create stronger connections to the reader. I’ve also come up with new beginning chapters and a few additions to the plot that will add to the suspense, and I’ll write another chapter that will reinforce the friendship between the two main characters.
I have to say, as nervous as I was about adding this big chunk of words, I’m now really happy the publisher requested it. I’m excited about the changes so far. Now it’s BIC and finishing it up by Monday.
How do you go about tackling major revisions?