Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Year of Methodology Trials

I finished another book yesterday. Yay, me! But that means I have...let's see...that one, and that one, and that one, and that one--four first draft novels. Which means this year will be The Year of Revision, uncontested.

A lot of my potential revising time is time when a computer isn't available. So I've decided to do something I've never done before. Work in hard copy! *gasp*

My main "process" is to revise as I write the "first" draft. When I know I need to change something, I go back and read through what's already written, and add to it or change it to fit the new information. I do that several times. Then when the book is done I read through and revise one more time, then print and proof it in hard copy.

Unfortunately, back in 2006 I started doing NaNoWriMo every year. Two of those books are completely edited and polished, but three are in rough draft form, and I mean ROUGH. Of the "plow through, forget about making it good" variety. So revision on all three of those is going to be just as rough.

So I've decided to try a couple of things I've never done before. I'm going out tomorrow to get a fancy new binder, some of those sticky tabs Misty loves so much, and maybe, if I feel like splurging, the Office Max pens I love so much. I'll print the draft and three-hole-punch it and dig in.

We'll see how far I get before it drives me insane. :)

The other thing I'm going to try this year is Scrivener. NaNo winners from 2010 can get it for half price, and they're releasing a version for Windows this spring. I've heard about this program for years, and I never thought it was something that would work for me. I'm pretty linear. But I think it would mesh nicely with the whole binder thing. We'll see.

So now I just need to decide which book to work on. :)


G. Torrance said...

Four first drafts? That's actually very impressive.

I tend to write down all my plot ideas on separate documents, and only touch one at a time until its been done and edited.

But then again, I used to write short stories. I'm not sure the same will work so well with the novels, but we'll see.

Did you finish each first draft one at a time?

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Hi, G!

Yeah, for the most part, they were one at a time. I always like to let a book sit for a little while before I go back to it, because I can see a lot more of the flaws once it's gone cold. Some of these have gone colder for various reasons. Like, there's no reason to work on a book that I can't submit because my agent was submitting another book in the same genre, and if that one sold, I'd be working on sequels to that. Another book I didn't work on because it's too far outside the romance box and I don't expect to be able to sell it for a while. I worked on revisions for other books in between. It's kind of a leapfrog. :)

Ava Quinn said...

This is a really good problem to have.

Have fun choosing!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I decided to do More Than You Know, the only urban fantasy I've written and haven't finished/shopped yet. I'm excited! I made a cover for the binder, even. LOL