If you have a writing conundrum, leave your question for me in the comment section.
My real goal is to write a novel, but I already failed with three previous attempts. The problem I have is I have to do so many revisions to get the story to flow, and to eliminate grammar errors. This is not so bad when you are working on a five to nine page story. But when you have a three-hundred page novel, the scope of the revisions is daunting. Is there anyway that I can overcome my fear of revising the same writing for many months? Revisions are excruciating, and I don't know how do avoid them, except by writing a better first draft. This ideal goes against many other writer's ideals. Once again. Thank you so much for your help,
I personally have not tried writing a novel yet. My experiences come from shorter pieces--magazines, newspapers, personal essays.... But, I have critiqued manuscripts and some needed heavy revisions. If I were in your shoes, I would first look at the big picture first and not worry about the grammar errors yet:
* Find the slow points in the story and either rework or eliminate
* Figure out if you are starting your novel in the right place. Many times authors can cut the first chapter or two and it strengthens the beginning. Your catalyst should happen in the first 10% of the book. This is the point in the story when your character's life goes from ordinary to extraordinary. The point where the character can't go back until the problem is solved. So for a 300 page novel, this event should happen before page 30.
* Check the dialogue and make sure it moves the story along.
Once you have looked over the big picture items, then I would go back and look at the grammar.
* Cut out passive verbs (You can read my past post about active-vs-passive verbs)
* Get rid of "that."
* Check punctuation
Basically focus on one component of the novel at a time. Don't try to rework everything all at once.
**Those of you novel writers out there, what advice do you have for Bill with regards to revisions?