How to Reorganize and Re”vision” a Story with a Plot

Revise Your Novel in a MonthLast year, I blogged the steps I took to refine my last novel — Parallel Lives — before publishing. For the past few months, I’ve blogged the steps I took to finish The Avenue. ***A darker grown-up version of the children’s story The Secret Garden collides with a dangerous drug house on an avenue with more boarded-up houses than lived-in as a mysterious stranger steers Jonna into a yearlong journey of self-discovery and forgiveness in The Avenue.***

Now, I share my process how to reorganize and re”vision” a story with a plot.

PlotWriMo Revise Your Novel in a Month

In preparation for a major rewrite, I re”vision” what I’ve written following the on-line video program PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel in a Month.

For the next 30 days, 
stand back from your words to view the bigger picture of your story through 
plot and structure, concept and scenes. 
Analyze what you’ve written, brainstorm, and revise for an effortless rewrite.

Day One

Day One of the revision program is all about organization. As writers we generate lots of random notes. If you’re like me, at the completion of the generative stage, you have a down and dirty rough draft of a novel, memoir, screenplay from beginning to end. You also have plenty of scraps of paper floating here and there, post-it notes cluttering my desk, and haphazard and confused computer files. Every idea that comes to me, whether valuable or trite, I jot down. Keeping all these ideas organized to remember and integrate when rewriting can prove problematic. Especially so for wildly creative types who tend to be highly disorganized and fragmented. So, how do you reorganize and re”vision” a story with a plot for your first major rewrite? 

Organization un-muddles our imaginations,
reawakens our passion, and
reinvigorates our desire to continue.

Print and Read Hard Copy

Following Day One of Revise Your Novel in a Month, I print a hard copy of the rough draft I just finished, having followed all 120 prompts from The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts from beginning to end. Thrilled to find merit in the first half, which I hadn’t worked on or read for three years, I was even happier to discover how much better the second half than the first.

As I organize my desk and my desktop, I remove all the notes for The Avenue affixed to the Beginning, Middle, End of the Plot Planner hanging on the wall of my writing cave. I tape, copy and paste, and arrange stacks of hard copy notes beside the appropriate scenes throughout the hard copy manuscript.

Survived Crisis / Dark Night

After surviving the Crisis / Dark Night around the 3/4 mark of your story, your protagonist becomes conscious of reinventing herself. As I write in Prompt 101 of The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: “She is no longer afraid to be herself, no longer afraid of failing or not being accepted, approved of, or liked. She looks back on her life and sees someone alien compared to who she is now. No longer afraid, she spots an opportunity when it appears. She puts her things in order and prepares for what she knows is coming.”

Having survived writing the rough draft of a story with plot from beginning to the end, I trust you’re feeling some of what I just described. Something about finishing — no matter how embarrassingly rough and incomplete with holes and gaps — fills you with hope and confidence. “She puts her things in order and prepares for what she knows is coming.” That’s what is required of you now. Reorganize. Put your notes, desktop, and office in order and prepare for what you know is coming — a major rewrite. 

Join me

Bring a draft of a story you want to evaluate more thoroughly before rewriting again. Revise Your Novel in a Month is an 8 on-line Video (5.5 hours) Series with step-by-step instruction on how to revise your novel, covering:
• Concept
• Structure and design
• Tension and conflict
• Character growth and transformation
• Pacing
• Cause and effect
• Meaning
• Hook
• Polish
• Prose

***SPECIAL***

Join me! I’m putting the recently completed first draft of The Avenue through an intense re”vision”ing before launching into the first major rewrite. Though I wrote the revision program and am in every frame of the on-line class, I’ll be watching Revise Your Novel in a Month for the very first time. 

PlotMoWri borderBy the end of 30 days, our manuscripts will be in such shape that the first rewrite will follow quickly and effortlessly.

For this special occasion,
we’re taking $100 off the price of
PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel in a Month.
Click HERE for all on-line video programs on SALE now!