I’m currently in revision mode, as I’m revising two novellas I recently drafted.
Now, editing, in my mind, involves the more nuts and bolts, grammar-type stuff. The stuff that used to bore me to tears when I was in grade and high school.
Do they still teach sentence diagramming at school?
Then there’s the stage I like to think of as post-draft research. Usually, when I first begin a story, I do just enough research to feel comfortable enough to draft.
If, however, I come to a part in my drafting where I need to know something specific I don’t stop writing. I use the Comment bar in Word and leave one of those comment bubbles, indicating I need to research this and once I get the answer, here’s where it goes. I’d rather not stop the flow of the draft in order to do research.
Sometimes I may have to do some Q&A (quick and dirty) research in order to continue on with the draft, but usually I just leave a comment bubble and move on.
The reason I don’t like to do a lot of extensive research prior to drafting is that, one, I’m lazy and two, I don’t see a need to learn everything about a subject when, more than like, it’s not going to appear in the story.
I do believe in getting a general idea of a topic that I’m not familiar with, but I tend to like to wait until I have drafted the story before I start more intensive research. That way, I know exactly what to research and it focuses my efforts. I really have no desire to spend hours and hours doing research.
So along with editing and the post-draft research, there’s the revisioning. Or, as I like to think of it, the re-visioning. That’s where I look at my story and characters with new vision, especially if I’ve let the draft steep for a bit before tackling it.
It’s rare that I’ll tear a story down and start all over again. I tend to do a bit of preparation before beginning a draft in order not to have to do that.
But I may find that a character needs some adjusting, or the plot isn’t going exactly where I had hope, or, perhaps, during drafting it took an unexpected turn or detour. Then come the process of deciding whether to continue on the path I had first envisioned for the story or going down this new road.
It’s hard-work, this re-visioning process, but it’s also a lot of fun.