Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Re-Writes - Stage One

In the run up to completing the first draft of this novel I have taken some time to do some study along the way. In the process I have come across some very useful blogs on tips for the re-drafting stage:
There are lots more but these have proved particularly useful at this stage of a romantic novel for me. Alongside this Hannah Hooton has a really helpful reading list on her blog.

The link above for Julie Cohen goes to her blog on post-it plotting. This is a technique used by Julie Cohen and several other writers. Julie discussed this technique in her talk on pacing at the Festival of Writing. So I used this technique (in my own brown folder way) to look at my over all plot.

I admit it is not as glamorous as the post-it note technique but it fills a similar function. For each chapter I have listed which characters appear in that chapter, location, circled which POVs are used and have listed the areas of conflict that occur in each chapter.

For the areas of conflict I have used a key (hence me getting high on the smell of sharpies during the process) and marked them out on each chapter break-down.
It has proved to be a very useful process and it has been much easier to recognise areas where there are major flaws. I have also benefited from a chapter critique from Sue Moorcroft as a result of Authors for Japan. From this I know I need to get rid of the first few chapters and start later on. From the break-down of chapters I can see what areas need some work. Now I just need to work out how to fix them. 

It is really worth having a go at the post-it technique or devising your own version of it to see if you find it helpful. I really have and will use the same system again in the future. 


  1. It's a great technique, isn't it? I went to Julie's Festival talk as well and using this process has really helped me too. I just hope you removed them from the bed before getting some well earned sleep!

  2. It is! Forgot to apologise for the crumpled duvet cover! They're back in a neat pile on the desk now :)

  3. This looks amazing - please will you come and catalogue mine like that? Good luck with it. Mx

  4. That looks amazing! I like that a lot. Might steal it when I get to the end of this first re-write.

  5. It's good fun and much more helpful if you do your own I reckon, Morton! :)

  6. Sound advice, Catherine. I've just started editing my 2nd completed novel and this sounds like a helpful tool in keeping an overview over the whole ms. Thanks for sharing! :-)

  7. That looks great! So glad you found it useful. It sort of uses a different part of the brain from writing and it's so satisfying to look at it when you're done! I've done the symbol/colour key before. Love colouring in...

  8. I shall give this a go when I get to the end of my first draft. Thanks for posting.