Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

On Revising

I've actually been revising a little every day since the great burst of energy with NaNoWriMo, but yesterday, I took the plunge. The novel, Rivers of Stone, historical fiction at 86,000 words, awaits in seriously lumpy form, research not complete, character arcs unclear, and plot holes along the way. Repeated words echo with each reading.

But finally, the underlying story line, that messy plot, is clear. Not exactly written down, but I know with certainty what motivates my character and what will happen.

So yesterday, I began by reading a motivational article by an editor/writer who feels like an old friend, Holly Lisle. I gathered pencils, the draft, and the notebook. And then I read another motivational article, made breakfast, tidied up a bit, then returned to my writing desk and finally began.

Day One: The Notebook
I did the silly thing, read aloud. I did what I was told not to do. I marked up at the word level now and then, but I persevered. At the end of two hours, I had read two chapters, made notes, and I was exhausted.

But I have truly begun. Participating in NOVELS-L, a subgroup of The Internet Writing Workshop, brings such a variety of comments from online critters. Committing to A Round of Words in 80 Days helps me to focus my goals, set deadlines and be accountable. And now, posting about the process for the next month for the Ultimate Blog Challenge . . . all moves me forward.

May your own writing (and reading) bring you joy.

Holly Lisle: "How to Revise a Novel"


  1. Glad you got your mojo on in regards to the book. I have started with my 2 different books a couple of times, and I have gotten along a bit but I always seem to stall out. My admiration is yours for getting so far. And kudos to boot, as that seems like something I would like to read!

  2. I love how you tell the story up until, making me feel like i am right there with you. You have an exquisite way with words. ;) Much luck with the January blog challenge.

  3. Your book sounds really interesting. I love historical fiction! I enjoyed reading about your editing process. I always read aloud when revising and find it helps so much, esp. with dialogue.