Today is our second stop on the Revision Tour.**
Now armed with my plot grid and discussion questions, I went back to the beginning of my manuscript and started the actual writing part of rewriting.
There are two things that I found invaluable during this process. The first was Scrivener, a writing program for Mac that is so awesome it makes my teeth sweat. It's so awesome in fact, that it deserves a whole blog unto itself and I will endeavor to do that sometime in the near future.
The second was my beta readers.
As I wrote each chapter, I tried to police my own bad grammar and weak sentence structures. Of course, it's impossible to catch everything. So, I did the best I could and wrote all the new material I needed based on the holes I'd identified in the story during my first draft review. Some chapters came easier than others. There were times I wanted to throw my laptop across the room, and there were times I was filled with doubt about this new chronology.
Thank Heavens for my beta readers. I sent them each chapter as I finished, and in due time, they'd get back to me with notes. Each of them had something to offer, and I'd like to take some time to introduce them so you can get a good idea of what niche each of them filled.
One is J.A. Souders, who is a fabulous detail reader. She was the one who corrected all my weird punctuation, rearranged weak sentences and made encouraging comments in the margins. I can always count on her to take me to task on failure to show emotion and action. I got tons of notes like "What is she feeling here?" "I'd like to know what's going on." She's also got great eyes for finding those spots where characters start acting out of character. She was also open to going back-and-forth in e-mail until we ironed out any sticky issues. Sometimes I'd send her just a revised sentence or two to see if I'd clarified.
The other is Eleven-Eleven, who is like the Secret Squirrel of the writing world. She even has a wonderful blog that no one knows about. You should go there. But I digress. 11-11 is unbeatable for big picture stuff. She didn't give me a lot of in-line notes, unless something sucked so bad she couldn't contain herself. What she did give me was character analysis and accountability to the story arc. Her notes were more like, "