I don’t know what made me suddenly associate revisions with Thundercats. But once I thought about it, it makes a sort of sense. You start with a rough first draft (when the sword is all small and unimpressive). Then you call upon the mighty powers of your super allies (read: critique group) and they come rushing in to help save the day.
Something like that, anyway.
So in the current process of revision, I’m restructuring the order of the chapters. They were originally written based on which character I had inspiration for at a given time. However, in a traditional novel format, the story needs to be told in order based on a) chronological sequence of events (flashbacks and flash-forwards notwithstanding) and b) the order that certain information needs to be revealed to the reader.
It’s already proving challenging. One difference in the final novel compared to what is currently posted online is that there may be scene-shifts at different points than the way they are in the blog posts. For example, during the power outage, I’m likely to shift from, say, Gabby to Dr. Caldwell at whichever point seems most appropriate for narrative flow. This might not be at the end of the blog posts, since those were sometimes chosen simply based on how much writing I got done on a certain day.
Another challenge is in the flash-forwards. They contain crucial information at a few points, but they are naturally not part of the chronological flow. I’m therefore choosing their placement based on the events they most directly link to. Many of the flash-forwards were deliberately written to have connections to the events right before or right after them. On the blog this meant they were simply in between each character’s chapters. But say for example I reorder the chapters to go from Tock to Gabby to Tock again, I’m then left with the question of where the flash-forward goes: after the first Tock chapter, or before the second?
Reordering chapters in this way is also making me aware of certain areas that need to be developed more. The most obvious example of that is Gabby’s friend, Callia. Callia plays a huge, crucial role in the second book. I was actually EXPECTING her to be in the first book. But that was before events in the first book developed to be bigger than I’d planned. I didn’t expect to spend as much time as I did in the power outage, and some events (like Tock’s relationship with Frankie Palladino) weren’t even IN my first set of notes and outline. As a result, events planned for the end of book one got pushed back into book two, and we end up never seeing Callia in person. I’m planning on amending that during revisions, with some scenes with her earlier in the story.
So the final story is going to be very different from what is seen here. But then, the first draft rarely works without the need for major changes.
Now, if only the Eye of Thundera could grant me the sight beyond sight to see how these revisions are supposed to go…
EDIT: So, in the ultimate irony, I somehow misspelled the word “REVISIONS” as “REVIONS” in the title of this blog post. Good thing I can go back and revise it…