Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dude! Here's The Story!

Or: Saturday needs to keep her facts straight.

But first!!
Ask Saturday
Jordyn (aka Wednesday) asked: What genre do you write? I mean, I know it's (mostly) YA but do you only write paranormal/supernatural or anything?

I do mostly write YA, though I've dabbled in adult novels but I don't quite have the voice down for that... and YA is more fun. :P I love paranormal and supernatural, and that tends to be my niche. I've had a couple contemporary ideas, but the voice never quite clicks. Maybe one day, though!!

Now, on to my post!

I am in the middle of revising le WIP1 at the same time as writing le WIP2. Which, of course, means I'm going absolutely crazy, because WIP1 and WIP2 are very different. WIP1 is darker, a little more emotionally draining. (And my MC curses like a truck driver. I do not curse at all.) WIP2, so far, is light but more challenging in different ways. (And the MC in that one does not sweat. At all. She's weird.)

But anyways.

As I said, I'm revising le WIP1 (which is called Spyder and from now on will be referred to as such because this WIP1 WIP2 stuff is giving me a headache). This is my... fourth round of revisions, I think. This last round was like the real, serious kind of revisions, fixing passive sentences, killing dialogue tags and adverbs, all that stuff that makes your writing stronger.

And I noticed something. I'm not always very good at being consistant with my facts. Even in WIP2, I noticed this. One of my characters went from having short hair to hair down to her waist with no explanation. Whoops.

This is okay in a first draft, but in revisions, it really need to be fixed. One of the things I did while revising Spyder was create a character fact list. I started this round of revisions (after a couple round of revisions where mostly I made sure everyone had last names, only two hands, and three demensions) and started a document where, as each character was introduced, no matter how small they were, I wrote down their name and, briefly, every fact about them that I stated as I stated it.

But Laina! You say. (don't you remember I can hear you thinking?) Isn't that, like, writing the book all over again?

Nope. But if you're totally confused, it's not you, it's me. I wrote this on a day that I woke up at 3am and was up til 8pm. Here's an example of what mine looks like.

Jane Doe
  • Sixteen
  • Brown hair, brown eyes
  • Short
  • Likes to cook
  • Shoe addict
  • Dating John Dear
(Don't make fun of my made up names. And yes, Jane Doe sounds like a bit of a fluff ball, but I'm not fleshing her out anymore than that.)

If she were a real character, I would include important ages, food preferences, anything that I said in the book and might need to fact check later.

The reason I do this later is so that I don't have to search through the book to find things I've said, and my character's reactions won't be totally off-base. Supposed I say Jane Doe is an awesome cook. If she cooks dinner for John Deer, I know that it should either be successful or empasized how out of the ordinary it was for things to go badly.

I find that since it's in list form, it's more clear and obvious when things don't match.

And that's another one of the things I do to keep myself (sort of) sane while revising! How about your revision tips? Share 'em in the comments!

Peace and cookies,

P.S. If you liked the Ask Saturday thing, keep the questions coming!
P.S.S. Did you like the Ask Saturday thing? Would you prefer it like this or below the post, like... where I'm talking now?