Right now I’m trying to do a big picture edit of The Gods Defense, just making sure the plot all makes sense and no subplots get cut off without resolution or just jump in too late without a clear tie in.  I spent yesterday staring at the computer screen, trying to map out my novel and the only stop that train made was ‘I hate the whole damn thing’ ville.

I read an article here: http://blog.nanowrimo.org/post/74180255653/a-7-step-guide-to-big-picture-revision-with-bonus and started mapping out what happens when and it just got boring fast.  I think I need to do it because I have a ton of sub-plots that all tie together and a map outline will help me keep them straight and visualize what subplots come up when, and hopefully get a good hold on my pacing.

But it’s boring!  Trying to go through it and pick apart scenes and list what happens and who’s in it, and what emotions, and what plot it goes towards got old after the first 10 minutes.  I just want to read through my book and correct what I see when it comes up.  It’s highly inefficient and I end up reading through about 100 times, which also gets boring, but at least it’s spread out over months so it’s not boring all at once.  And I’ve done this for the books I finished in the past.

Only now, I want to figure out how to do this more efficiently, and that means making the effort.

So what do you do when you hit this point?  You’re editing and the whole thing bugs you and you just don’t want to look at it anymore.  What do you do?

Suck it up.

Yep, no sympathy, nothin’.  Just suck it up and do it.

Map out your scenes or whatever it is you do for the big picture edit and accept that you’re not going to like the process.  Take every piece of the book and make a note as to what specifically bugs you.  Because if you can’t put your finger on it, you probably are just losing patience.  If you can put your finger on it, you should get rid of what bugs you and fix it up.

What I’m doing is a mix of that nano article and these ones by Jim Butcher on Scenes: http://jimbutcher.livejournal.com/2647.html, and Sequels: http://jimbutcher.livejournal.com/2880.html.

So I’m making a grid. I’ve got my scenes down in a list, just a quick line of what’s in them, with how many pages it takes (that I will color code according to subplot after it’s done), on one half, the Sequel on the other half.

Across the top I have Scene, Goal, Conflict, Setback, Sequel, Emotion, Logical Review, Anticipation, and Choice.  Just a line in each box to say what it is, so I can see what I have, how “warm” my novel is, if I need some more emotion in certain parts, what the general pacing is, and whether some part needs some serious work.  I’m also going to put a hard line between the Beginning, Middle, and End so I can see where those breaks are and pay extra attention to their length and the transitions.

So, here I go.  I’m going.  I’m mapping out my plot and starting the editing any minute now.

I’m going to need caffeine.  Just so much caffeine.

Happy Editing.



  1. Honestly, this is a big help to someone who is just working on her first book. It tells me I have a lot of work ahead of me and need to do some planning. I’m taking a fiction course to help with this process of planning and revising also. But I get your frustration going through and editing anything is the worst especially if you have all these plot lines everywhere. Good luck, you can do it!


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