Thursday, July 10, 2014

When Revisions Get Experimental

So today my revisions looked a little something like this. I decided to try something new, to see if it would help me notice problems with plot and character arcs. I took different colored yarn, and had each color represent a different plot line. In this picture, pink was the immediate antagonist, light purple was the overarching antagonist, and dark purple was the romantic subplot. I was hoping that being able to see these plots (plus a few more) intertwine and see where there were gaping holes, would help me get down to those revisions. And did it?

Well yes. And, no.

Yarn is pretty difficult to work with. It got tangled more times than I'm willing to admit, and the worst feeling ever was looking down the line of index cards and seeing that I missed one that needed to be included (and that happened probably four or five times).

But something else cool did happen. I noticed a huge gap in my main villain's arc, and figured out a way to fix it while untangling the yarn. I realized I hadn't budgeted enough actual romance for my subplot to be romantic, and I figured out some perfect, tension-filled scenes while readjusting the yarn line.

So actually seeing it was nice, and helped a little bit. But I think the best part was thinking about my story in a  different way. Working through knots gave me tons of time to think, and something about seeing all of those lines threading through my scenes really made my creative juices flow.

How do you look at your stories in new, exciting ways?

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