Revising Live: 18th July

I thought today that I might live blog revising the first draft of Robot Dreams — I meant to get out today to sit somewhere like a library and work there but it was a bit hot and my joints were a bit stiff the first time I woke up. So. I thought live blogging might encourage me to work through this… it’s the first time I’ve actually taken revising a novel seriously.

The first and only other time I attempted it, on TGWATF, I made a very significant error. I think it’s one that a lot of writers do though when they’re just starting out, so hopefully I’m not alone on that one.

I revised the words and made them all pretty and shiny, forgetting that fixing the plot was probably (definitely) a hell of a lot more important. I increased the novel around 16,000 words in length from draft one but made very few actual changes to it. At all.

While I’m not really into talking about TGWATF now, as it’s a long time ago and kind of represents my naivety, I thought it was important to explain how new I am to the whole actually improving writing thing! Probably since when I write an academic piece of work I have every argument firmly in place before writing a single word — my plans for a 2,000 word essay can be close to 4,000 words! Of course, writing a 100,000 word plan of a  book would be pretty painful…

Getting started: I’ve cut out of the first draft document a section of around 30 pages, which is around 9,000 words, to work with. There’s some changes I need to make to it structurally, as well as improving the writing in this draft. This may or may not be something I can finish today but the new document contains all of the words I’ll need to look at.

Let’s get going!

16.51: Listening to some historical fan videos on Youtube, some that relate quite well to my other project, and going to get started now!

16.53 Already there’s a sentence I’ve written that is a little bit too ‘tell’ but rather than try and fix each individual sentence going to focus on the structure on this run through — words can be fixed as long as the story is in place.

17.00 Going to have to do some research before I write the next draft, this section will need some work on the logistics of how Ava finds out that they’re dismissing the boy as dead while he’s still breathing.

17.06 My kitty’s been ill so going to clean that up now >.<

17.12 Hairball, me thinks. Is so warm outside was tempted to stay out there, but not sure how to open the shed to get the recliners out so here I stay.

17.18 Music back on, let’s keep going.

17.43 Doing a quick dissertation research search.

17.54 I’ve found four videos to takev another look at later, as well as a copy of the report that was conducted into the disaster, so this info will be really helfpul when I come to write up my dissertation!

18.o3 Added a nice bit of tension now with this reworking, got 663 edited words and a total of 8804 words, meaning little difference.

18.53 Just been with Meg and Mum, after their return from parents evening. Going to watch a bit more of TFIOS, which I started watching this afternoon.

19.54 Ended up reading fanfiction etc with tea, now back to the writing soon. Getting organised, this heat is awful.
20.24 Back, wow, that was a distracting few hours.

20.46 Break. Sorting out some things for dissertation trip tomorrow. Shower etc.

22.35 FINALLY back. Will be taking short breaks and doing this bit of editing at a relaxed pace, moving in and out of this and other things.

So. End of day and I’ve got a lot less than I was hoping for, although I’ve managed to rewrite X words. That’s one important thing about this, it isn’t just a superficial revision but I’m rewriting the prose, changing bits of structure and also altering characterisation all at once.

End result of today, starting a lot lot later in the day than I would have liked and with more distractions than I hoped for, was 1,800 words of edited material for Robot Dreams. Add that to the 2,000 words I already had and making good progress — especially considering I only finished the first draft at the start of this month!

E over and out


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