Novel Revision: Halfway

The third revision of Bleed American is going well. It’s definitely going faster. Maybe because it’s the third time through so I know my story better, or it could be that my story is clearer to me now. I think it’s the latter. The query letters that I sent out prior to the third revision, I struggled with the letter and synopsis. I knew what my story was about, but detailing it in a letter? In a one page synopsis? Sounded impossible then, but tangible now.

What’s different? I’ve cut out a lot. Not just words but extraneous information that I thought was important when I first wrote BA. I tried to force too many plot shifts that it seemed like luck had to do more to do with moving the story than cause and effect.  I actually had an agent make that comment that my synopsis relied to much on luck and not enough of the story driving the plot. That pissed me off! But, of course, I’m still an aspiring writer, and he’s the agent with a number of big time writers as clients. That criticism really got me thinking about a third revision. As I go on through revising, I have mental notes in my head that challenge me to move the story forward on its own. I believe in a natural path of storytelling. It needs to be organic, at least for me. This mind set is definitely led to much improved draft. 

The other aspect that forced this third revision was my writing style. The same agent that told me that my plot shifts were too lucky, also praised me for smooth, commercial writing. But also went onto say that I wasted my efforts to explanation and sluggish paragraphs. I agree.  As I’m revising, I’m finding a lot of instances where I’m “proving” I’m a writer. Long, wordy passages. Overkill of the thesaurus. I think being in writing groups can cause this mentality. There’s tendencies to push further and explore in writing. That’s fine as long as it adds value. I might have misinterpreted it and pushed to far and explored to much. Looking back, BA was a lot to read the first go around. I want edgy, sharp writing that allows the reader to pace and keep interest. That wasn’t happening after the second revision.

I see my novel much clearer now, and that’s building my momentum to finishing this revision.

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