At the beginning of this month, I explained how I was planning my first round of revisions that is going to lead to the second draft of my novel. The first step was to print the first draft, read it and make a lot of notes. I’m almost done with this step (4 chapters left to go, I should be finished today or tomorrow).

This month, I went through all kinds of emotions reading my book. I realised that it’s very difficult to revise a book, much more difficult than writing the first draft, in fact. My inner sensor, that was switched off during these 9 months of writing, came back full force to tell me how bad the first draft was.

(Not sure if this is an actual quote but it does help!)

I got, however, excellent ideas to make it better. The structure of my novel is going to change dramatically, to make way for the characters’ journeys. I have now a better understanding of the world I created, and I know exactly where I’m going. The caveat in that is that I have A LOT of work in front of me.

The next step of my journey to conquering this novel will therefore be dedicated to structure. I’m going to add several chapters to the first part, so the midpoint is really in the middle (it comes too soon at the moment, because I neglected to develop an important part of the story). I also need to restructure the point of views and several parts are going to disappear / be changed. I have a good idea of how I’m gonna do this:

Step 2 – Restructure the novel

I think I’m gonna use index cards. What I don’t know is if they are going to be real (as in “real paper”) or if I should use the index card tool in Scrivener. I’m leaning towards real paper at first, then once things are more clear in my head copying them into Scrivener.

On each card, I’ll write the description of a scene and the POV, and i’ll divide them into the chapters. That way, I can easily move scenes from one chapter to another, add scenes, remove them, modify the POV,…

On these index cards, I’ll already write the new ideas that I have and see if they work in the bigger picture of the novel. That way, I should immediately see if a scene is out of place before writing it. I hope I’ll save myself some time.

Some of you might think: why didn’t I do it for the first draft? Well, I had a structure and a detailed synopsis, but I deviated A LOT from it, simply because I had better ideas on the way. I didn’t want to restrain my creativity so I decided to just go with it.

Now, I have a pretty constrained timeframe for this second step, if I still want to start the second draft during NaNoWriMo. I aim to finish Step 2 by October 15th!

In other news…

This month, I got 2 short stories rejected by magazines, so I sent them to other ones! Fingers crossed.

I’m also trying to organise a writers support group in London. The goal is to have a group of people dedicated to writing who help each other. I’ve had quite a lot of interest, especially in the theatre world where I work. More news on that after our first meeting!

That’s all for now! Don’t hesitate to comment 🙂