At the recommendation of an agent I grabbed a digital copy of Cathy Yardley’s “Rock Your Revisions.” Starting in on my sixth draft it seemed like a good idea to see what I could learn from an established author. I am undertaking a major revision this time, so any help would be appreciated.
It’s a short book with solid and easily digestible advice. After that I decided to jump right in to my latest revision starting with what is called a Scene Chart. I won’t go into exactly what that means as I’d rather not give away Cathy’s work for free. In simple terms its a method to dissect your novel on a scene level in order to find the big problems.
Well, within a few scenes I could already tell how powerful of a tool it was going to be. Using her method I could instantly tell why I scene wasn’t working. Not only that, I could see exactly what I would need to do to fix it. I’m working through my novel now, seeing what scenes are good structurally, which ones will need some major work, and most importantly which ones will need to go.
A major advantage to this method is that I now won’t be wasting my time noodling paragraphs, sentences, and conversations to the point of perfection only to end up tossing the entire scene. With a Scene Chart I’ll be able to double check my work to be certain its the tightest the plot can be; that no scene is out of place.
And at $2.99 you can’t really go wrong.
Next, I’ll talk about her book “Write Every Day” helped me get over my slump. Three words, face your fears.