Oct 21, 2012
Revising the revision
It was awesome (and also a wee bit embarrassing that she had to do that! *red face*)
Her suggestions and questions were just what I needed to go through the plot and extract all those pesky rabbit holes, unnecessary words and characters.
And I came up with a quick test to see how well the resulting chapters held together.
A chapter table.
This is not a revolutionary idea. I think Save The Cat asks writers to do something similar. A table makes it really easy to see which chapters are pulling their weight and which ones are holes.
Here's how mine worked: I created a table with a column for each chapter's synopsis. Then I indicated which part of the synopsis moved which part of the plots along.
Chapter 12: Carrie and Grant kiss, they discover the magic portal, the elven king is there first
Every chapter should include at least one element - the main plotline if nothing else - and preferably two elements. Chapters without any plot movement must be examined carefully. Can they be removed/shortened/edited to include a plotline? This method also allows a quick check of the main plot's timing: are all the clues in order? Is there a lot of main plot bold leading up to the climax? Did any thread of subplot go unresolved?
This is also an easy way to stay organized if you have CPs or betas because they, too, can refer to your chapter table rather than giving intext comments. It's a way to give feedback on the overall flow/pacing.
What are some ways you make sure your revisions are on track?