K.I.S.S. & Tell February 17, 2010
Revision is an interesting process. I’ve discovered that when it comes to the PLOT revision, reading a craft book alongside the writing work helps me to generate new ideas and fix my MS’s holes. Sometimes I take a course online during this time. Sometimes I just read and learn.
While revising, I am always on the phone or pinging emails to my CPs. They are all working on their WIPs and going through the same process. All of our voices bring new thoughts and solutions to the table. All of us find different ways to get to the heart of the matter.
So where is the KISS?
Well, for me it’s in the phrase: KEEP IT SIMPLE SILLY. The more I learn, the more I realize that writing does boil down to basics. There are some amazing methods to approach writing, but they all derive from similar roots. I can call a plot point a twist point, a pivotal plot point, a false victory, a turning point… a whatever… But bottom line: the idea is the same. I have to have sections in my book that bring about changes internally and externally to my main characters and all of these changes must deepen the sympathy my future readers have for my characters.
Goals? Motivations? Conflicts? Internal and external? They all come from some deep well within ourselves. If we don’t mine our own hearts and experiences, we aren’t bringing an honest revelation to the table, either. At times it takes some wonderful teacher to lead us to that discovery. Other times, it’s an aha moment within our own brains that crystalizes the soul baring drive to write the story. Is our theme throughout our writing about betrayal, hope, lost souls finding home, overcoming injustice, saving people, truth and justice overcoming dishonesty? What? When we discover this, we are on a roll.
Sounds simple doesn’t it?
But that’s the part that’s hard to tell. When does the writing shift from complex to simple? When does the book take on an amazing life of its own where the characters are really telling ME how to write their story? I think it happens all along as long as I don’t force the issue. As soon as I try to fake it, I lose it.
I lose the essence of my people. I lose the essence of their story.
Revision opens up new pathways, new directions, new goals. Revision brings along interesting developments, unexpected characters and evocative emotions. Now the questions is: are you ready to expose them to the light?