[Insert engaging, searchable image that I forgot to create here.]
Good news, everyone! All of my alpha readers are officially (finally) finished! I just met with a friend of mine last night to discuss the major themes and ideas that stuck out to him during his read of The Warden of Everfeld: Memento. It. Was. Fantastic.
It’s been entertaining, in a way, to hear these four friends/family members apologize profusely for how they’re about to eviscerate my novel before my eyes. I honestly worried a bit about how I would take such honest criticisms. Obviously, that’s what I expected from them. What I didn’t realize is just how engaging their criticisms were for me.
They say you should write a story for one person, rather than everyone. Well, I think I’m writing my story for these four wonderful people (and Present Wife, but she knows the plot lines already because she’s my patient sounding board). I want to make it better for them, because they put in so much time and effort into reading and reviewing a novel that has no business being seen by the general public in its current form.
The Revision Plan!
That all is to say that I am officially ready to begin my revision process. So Far, I have been compiling the notes from each of my readers’ manuscripts into my copy, overlaying my own notes from my first read-through. This will help guide my revisions, as I will have all of my notes in one place.
I have already gone through the first four chapters of all four reader manuscripts and compiled those notes. So I think instead of waiting until I have compiled all of their notes across the entire book, I will just work on the first four chapters for now. This will help me ensure that I am laying the appropriate groundwork for the various themes and narrative threads I am trying to weave across my story.
Now, how will I actually go about revising the first draft, you ask? By rewriting the damn thing from scratch!
Yes, my own copy of the manuscript, with the compiled notes from my four alpha readers, will serve as the basis for the new draft I will craft in a blank document. My revisions this round include the voice and prose of my story, and reading through and re-typing it in full will give me the opportunity to reformulate my sentences and paragraphs.
If I just went back to my alpha manuscript draft of 178,000 words and tried to make line by line edits, something (or many things) would inevitably slip through the cracks. By re-typing the entire draft, I can bolster my narrative themes and character development more organically and in a singular voice, rather than interspersing my now (slightly) more honed voice with my voice from sometime over the last few years.
Goal: To re-type The Warden of Everfeld: Memento into a new draft, revising character development, themes, and structure in the process.
Deadline: February 28, 2017. (Yes, I want to move fast and efficiently on this!)
Let Operation Manuscript: Beta commence!