The Circular Nature of Revision–CoronaLife Day 894

Last week I mentioned that I wanted to work on my YA scifi, Veritas, while my daughter was at camp. It turned out to be quite a productive week.

It took a couple of days to go over all my notes and get back into the swing of things, since it had been almost 2 years since I had last worked on it. But after I did, I got through 18,000 words. Some were new words, but most were revision.

This brought me almost to the halfway point of my novel. But sometimes when you revise, you hit a spot that requires going back into an earlier scene, or writing a whole new scene to insert earlier, so the current scene will make sense or have the desired emotional depth.

That’s what happened with this scene. It referred to something in passing that my editor thought needed deeper explanation earlier in the book so it would resonate more in the current scene. I agreed, so now I will be stopping my forward momentum until I write that new scene.

My editor’s attention to that particular scene also made me realize that certain events in my longer, full series, timeline did not work as written. Mostly it would have required a main character to be in two different places simultaneously. And even in a speculative fiction genre, that just didn’t work.

Therefore, I laid out my entire series timeline in a visual way, which helped me see where my time conflicts were. I then adjusted my series to make it all work. It required me to revise my thinking, too, letting go of my original idea of how things “had to be” and finding new configurations. So it turned out to be doubly good that my editor drew my attention to that scene.

Sometimes in writing you need to go backward to go forward. But since it is all necessary work, it is still progress!

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