Saturday, May 04, 2013

Anatomy of a Revision

So, aspiring authors often want to hear about revisions. Generally the question is, How brutal are they? So since I actually paid attention to some of my . . . stats, I guess . . . I thought I would talk about what happened during the revision of Don't Close Your Eyes, my upcoming YA Paranormal Thriller . . . Horror . . . something like that. (Okay, I haven't perfected my elevator pitch yet!:D)

When I turned in DCYE, it was 74,000 words. When I turned it in after edits it was 90,000 words. So, for starters, I added 16,000 words. However, I also changed about the same number of words. So I would say that a full 30,000 of the final 90,000 words were written or re-written. So yeah, I re-wrote about a third of the book in revisions this time. (I suspect that percentage was a full half for Wings, but about a third seems pretty normal for me.)

So what did I change? Here were the main things:

1.) I wrote this book fast so the details of my world were sketchy. Half of my revisions involved clarifying world/mythos/etc. it's also where about 10,000 of the extra words came from.:)

2.) Blended two characters into one. Which, oddly, required more words.:D

3.) Smoothed out my romance line and added several scenes to do this.

4.) Slowed my pacing down. And this was a shocker to me. I ended up rushing headlong into the plot so quickly I confused my editor. I added a prologue and a new first chapter at their request.

5.) Gave a personal story to every victim. (Did I mention the serial killer?) This was short. Probably 1,000 words total. But it made a huge difference.

So yeah, that was essentially my revision. You'll notice there was very, very little cutting. That is NOT always the case. In fact it's pretty unique to this book.:) I'm a little sad that it doesn't look like I'm going to have a deleted scene for this book.

Of course, there is one more round of edits. . . .



Fida Islaih said...

Thanks for sharing!!

Monica said...

Cool. The more you know...