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Rambling thoughts on revisions

If you’re following my Twitter feed at all, you’ll know that I’ve been working voraciously on revisions of “Buk Tu” the sequel to The Tale of Telsharu. A few minutes ago I finished revisions on Chapter 35, meaning I’ve progressed through more than half the book in four days. This blog post is a brief, necessary break to clear my head, and then I will be jumping right back in.

It’s a relief to be back at it–truth be told, I haven’t done much with “Buk Tu” since finishing the first draft late last summer. After nearly two straight years of The Seventh Empire, I was in sore need of a break. But my break turned into a hiatus of much greater duration than I intended. I have struggled with the desire and motivation to jump back into this world. Thus began my re-read of Telsharu. And to my surprise, it worked. Reading Telsharu gave me the motivation I needed to jump into “Buk Tu” full steam ahead.

Revisions are an interesting process, particularly with a co-author. Sam is also currently going through “Buk Tu” and working on his own set of revisions. Sometimes I hesitate to work simultaneously, but with this new gusto I’m experiencing, I dare not wait for Sam’s go-thru to be completed. Fortunately, with our Scrivener-Dropbox setup, we never lose any work between the two of us.

Quick plug for Scrivener: Best. Writing. Software. Ever. I have been using Scrivener for five or six years now, and it is still the best I’ve found. Particularly in this revising stage, the tools are invaluable. I can keep track of which chapters I’ve revised, which ones still need work. I can reorder, combine, and eliminate sections or whole chapters with ease. My notes for each chapter are just off to the side of the prose, where I can keep them in full view as I work. I also keep general revision notes in a separate document, which I refer to regularly.

As far as our revisions process, it varies depending on what stage we’re at. With Telsharu, we went through several revisions. One time, it was a consecutive go-thru, one chapter at a time, tightening and cleaning. Another time, we had determined that Aisina’s storyline wasn’t working, so we ripped out all of her chapters and rewrote every single one. Some revisions are small, others are pretty major. All are done in hope of creating a stronger novel.

My current revisions of “Buk Tu” are consecutive. This is partly because I haven’t even read parts of the book since writing them last summer, and I’m refamiliarizing myself with the text. Also part of my purpose at this time is to gauge the flow and timing of the storyline, and so it’s important to read it through in order, and with a certain amount of speed. I have been making small(ish) adjustments as I go, tightening and revamping bits and pieces. But I have also been taking notes of larger, more time-consuming adjustments I feel must be made. These I will discuss with Sam before moving forward.

I am excited. I am excited to be writing again, excited to be in the Seventh Empire again. And I’m excited about “Buk Tu.” I’m enjoying it more and more. There is still much work to be done. But I am hopeful that, before long, we will be presenting you with a continuation of this story that we enjoy so much.

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