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Author Topic: Revision sweeps  (Read 1565 times)

Offline wakarimasen

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Revision sweeps
« on: April 15, 2015, 09:18:22 PM »
I went to a thing yesterday where Joe Abercrombie and Peter V Brett talked about their writing process.
There were a lot of differences in their approaches, but they both agreed on going over stuff in multiple sweeps for different purposes.
This put me in mind of doing a checklist that I might use to sweep through stuff I write, if only to get into good habits.
It's more compulsive than I would probably use, but it's all stuff worth thinking about. Does anyone else do something similar or have anything to add?

Emotional
  Who has the most to gain?
  Are we raising/lowering tension?
  What emotional shift happens?
  Is the behaviour consistent with emotions carried from previous scene?

Physical
  What time of day is it?
  What is the weather?
  Who is tired or in pain etc?
  Who is standing where, holding what?

Technical
  Two many adverbs?
  Repitition of phrases.
  Generic descriptions that could swapped for character specific idiosyncrasies.
  Does the rhythm match the scene?
  Dialogue/prose balance.
  Does it advance the plot?
 
 

Offline Raptori

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Re: Revision sweeps
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2015, 11:13:09 PM »
I went to a thing yesterday where Joe Abercrombie and Peter V Brett talked about their writing process.
There were a lot of differences in their approaches, but they both agreed on going over stuff in multiple sweeps for different purposes.
This put me in mind of doing a checklist that I might use to sweep through stuff I write, if only to get into good habits.
It's more compulsive than I would probably use, but it's all stuff worth thinking about. Does anyone else do something similar or have anything to add?

Emotional
  Who has the most to gain?
  Are we raising/lowering tension?
  What emotional shift happens?
  Is the behaviour consistent with emotions carried from previous scene?

Physical
  What time of day is it?
  What is the weather?
  Who is tired or in pain etc?
  Who is standing where, holding what?

Technical
  Two many adverbs?
  Repitition of phrases.
  Generic descriptions that could swapped for character specific idiosyncrasies.
  Does the rhythm match the scene?
  Dialogue/prose balance.
  Does it advance the plot?
 
 

Yeah it's much easier doing it this way. There are so many different aspects to writing that attempting to fix everything at once just doesn't sound feasible to me, concentrating on one specific aspect allows you to focus your efforts and make sure that particular aspect is consistently well done throughout.  :)
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Offline Nora

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Re: Revision sweeps
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2015, 02:50:04 PM »
Too* many adverbs.

Yeah, I don't have so much to add, I've actually never tried to consciously partition what I'm looking for as I re-read myself. I'll give it a shot next time. I'm looking for an idea for a short story at the moment so thanks, this comes handy.
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Offline Yora

Re: Revision sweeps
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2015, 03:02:22 PM »
Yeah. I didn't even spot that but my first thought was "check for spelling". In German you just have to run a spellchecker through the document to find almost all mistake, but the most common mistakes in English seem to be wrong words spelled correctly.
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Offline JMack

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Re: Revision sweeps
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2015, 03:50:04 PM »
Too* many adverbs.

Yeah, I don't have so much to add, I've actually never tried to consciously partition what I'm looking for as I re-read myself. I'll give it a shot next time. I'm looking for an idea for a short story at the moment so thanks, this comes handy.
This is a proven fact:  ;) One adverb is okay. Three or more are okay. Two is right out.
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Offline Doctor_Chill

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Re: Revision sweeps
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2015, 12:49:49 AM »
Yeah, this is really helpful, especially when you're consciously thinking about a sweep during revision. Although, experience with these does begin to weed some in-necessities out. Stuff like "Who has the most to gain?" "What emotional shift happens?" "What is the weather?" and "Two many adverbs?" seem like commonsense to me now, let alone "What time of day is it?"

But then we have stuff like "Are we raising/lowering tension?" "Repitition of phrases." and "Dialogue/prose balance." are more technical things that I need to work on. I usually have a general idea when I do a chapter by chapter sweep, aside from concerning the main narrative, but it's nice to see new stuff like this to keep me fresh on my toes.
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Offline K.S. Crooks

Re: Revision sweeps
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2015, 07:10:21 PM »
Having a system like this will also make the editing proceed faster. You will become better at spotting what was done incorrectly and fixing them. It will also reduce the moments where you cannot remember if you checked a certain chapter for every possible error.
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