The Why Of Revision.
So. I’ve been thinking… I know, I know. But, Er, these blog posts are always long when you think! Maybe, but I’m working on a revision for my new MS and I was thinking about motivation and the WHY of revision.
So you’re bounding along in your first draft. It’s great. You’re getting words. You have a sort-of plot (if you’re a pantser, if you’re not, you’ve got a well-thought-out plot) either way, you’ve got some semblance of a story going. You step back for a while. A couple weeks, a month–whatever your marinating time, and come back. THIS is the time to ask WHY.
Why did I write this story?
Why is my MC doing what she’s doing?
Why does the reader want to read this?
Why is my MC perfect for this story?
So I started asking myself WHY when it came to my current WIP and you know what? I didn’t know the answers right away. So I discovered that I needed to bring out more to make it believable, bring out the essence of this particular MC. I keep trying to capture what I had in my last MS but this isn’t the same story or the same characters. So I’ve been asking myself why I chose to write this one. Why did I choose to make the MC how she is? It may seem obvious to do, but it wasn’t to me.
Sometimes I think we get SO into a story that we forget to ask why. No matter what, our characters need to have reasons for doing what they’re doing and it’s our job to make them believable.
So that’s what I’m doing. I’m taking a step back and I’m going to make sure this MC is the right MC for the job, and that this story and its characters are believable. I’m not just going to put words on a page because that’s what you do after a first draft. I’m going to make sure they mean something, ’cause I care about every one of those words and who may possibly read them. That’s what asking why is about. It’s about making sure your words tell your story the way you wanted, and about making readers feel what you felt when you put them on the page.
So ask why. It may be the most important thing you can do during a revision.
What about you? Do you always ask WHY when you revise?
Have a great rest of the week, rockers!