I'm also putting out a call for beta readers, which I'll be needing shortly. You'll probably want to of read one of the other Sary books, as this is "true" sequel, but I'd love for anyone willing to give it a read!
Anyhow, today, I thought I'd talk a little about this first big set of revisions. I'm no expert, but there are several things that I tend to look for at this point that absolutely have to be in working order before I can start the next stage, which is polishing. This first serious dig through a manuscript is vital, as it shapes the course of the whole thing, and allows for ensuring the "big" issues are more settled. So, in general I tend to focus on:
-Does it all make sense? In other words, where are the plot-holes? Did I leave a character hanging? Did I forget to tie in that loose end? That kind of stuff, if not fixed instantly, goes onto a sticky-note for future reference.
|The time-line from Hades :) I have also started crossing|
the lines, which is even more fun. (And if you didn't
catch that Ghostbusters reference, well, you need to go
see that movie, post haste!)
-Names and details. I've accidentally changed a few things here and there and then not changed it consistently, so I make a bunch of notes and make sure it sticks throughout.
-Character arcs. First thing: is there one? If yes, yay! If no, well, what am I going to do about it?
-Back-story. Do I need more? Do I need less? Basically, how fleshed out are the characters, and do I need to layer in some, or start cutting.
-Voice. Are the characters sounding discrete? I worry about them sounding consistent and strong, so I keep an eye on this quite a bit, and do what I can to keep wording/sayings/idiosyncrasies separate for them all. I write each character's piece as a whole, then weave them together, which helps, but sometimes I need to do more.
Basically, the first pass is a big muddle of attempting to knock off a lot of the really rough edges. I really do my best to avoid sitting there for an hour trying to get a certain sentence just right, or worrying excessively over passive voice or comma usage. That comes later, and admittedly, is not exactly my favorite part. I've mentioned my issues with commas, right? :)
What about you? What sorts of things do you look for in your first pass through a recently finished novel?