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reviseSo. A full month has gone by – and then some – and I have started revising my novel.

Or at least, I have started working on my second draft. Or perhaps not even that – not yet. What I have done is this:

1) I’ve started doing bits of preliminary work as learned from Holly Lisle‘s How To Revise Your Novel – big picture things like getting a clearer idea of what I want this novel to be once I’m done with it…

2) I’ve collected the (many) Notes For Revision I have scattered through my several notebooks. The idea was to compile them in one document, print it out and keep it where I can see it. Except, when it was done, it looked rather bland. And yes, I know – a printed page of notes looks like a printed page of notes, and I’m not even a visual person… I have no idea what prompted me to write my notes with coloured pens on index cards and pin them artistically on a cork-board. It looks prettier than the printed page, but whether this will prove useful at all, or just an elaborate piece of procrastination is anyone’s guess.

3) I’ve printed the whole thing – what there is of it. It makes for a hefty pile of 216 pages. Trouble is, the printer chose yesterday as a nice moment to go into hysterics, and printing 216 pages proved a little odyssey… Still. Jori

4) I’ve realised I need more space for the hefty pile, the notes, the notebooks, the cork-board, the reference books, the maps… No, actually I don’t need the books or the maps at this early stage – but I will soon. So I started clearing away papers in my study – and guess what I found underneath? A desk! A largish one. “Oh, look!” said my mother. “I had faint memories of a desk there…” So I’ve moved on the Found Desk all my stuff. My beautiful glazed clay Marlowe statuette* presides over it, too – which can only be good.

5)While I was at it, I’ve cleared an armchair so that Tess, the Minor Tabby Wonder can keep me company as I work. A sympathetic cat is quite as essential as countless cups of tea.

6) Have I begun to re-read? No. Not yet. That’s for today. Let us say that yesterday was for beginnings, rituals and taking a deep breath before the plunge.

Now – now I start in earnest.


* By wonderful local artist Andrea Jori