Welcome to the last week of the #InkRipples revision workshop. I hope you’ve found the revision tips and exercises fun and enlightening. If you missed the last three week’s tips and exercises, be sure to hop on over when you’re done here.
Revision Tip #7
Double check the end of each chapter to make sure it lures the reader to continue. Then double check the beginning of each chapter to make sure it stands on it’s own.
As often as possible, you want the end of each chapter to be a mini cliff hanger. There are times where the actions slows to a logical end and a cliff hanger would feel wrong, but in order to keep your reader turning pages you want them to think, “Crud! What happens next?” Or, “Oh my gosh, what is he going to do when he finds out she did that?” Keep them turning pages until the wee hours of the morning. ;)
However the beginning of the chapter shouldn't start in the middle of action and should establish who is in the scene. Even if the chapter before ended with her pulling a gun on her boyfriend, the beginning of the chapter has to state, Leslie’s hand didn’t even shake as she pointed the gun at Trevor’s heart. Because what if your reader did finally close the book and go to sleep at the end of the previous chapter and then the next day they had to take their cat to the vet after it got a reed stuck up its nose and their left rear blinker went out on the way to school, so they had to stop at the auto parts store after work, and then their mom made them go to the fundraiser dinner, so they didn’t get back to the book for two days. You don’t want them to pick up the book and read Her hand didn't even shake as she pointed the gun at his heart and think, “Wait. What? Is this Leslie or Courtney? Trevor or Kyle?” And then have to page back to catch up again. Instead, they pick it up and see that Leslie is holding a gun on Trevor. They smile and think, Oh yeah. Awesome.
Revision Tip #8
Have fun. Seriously. You will experience a myriad of feelings about yourself and your writing as you go through revisions. You’ll alternate between, “I suck – why do I do this?” and “This paragraph is the most brilliant arrangement of words – ever!” But don’t lose sight of the reason you write. Because you love it. If you feel like the manuscript is a crap ton of trash, then stop revising and just read. You’ll find the story you’re trying to tell again and you’ll be positively inspired to dive back in to revisions and chip away at the caked on mud.
Now let's get to work. But instead of an exercise, share with us your favorite revision tip. Which tip do you feel helps you bring the best out of your work?
Thanks for joining me this month!
Join us for #InkRipples in May when we talk about fairy tales!
#Inkripples is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand posting on the first Monday of every month. To participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, and link back to the three host blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation. Themes and images and more information can be found here.