Revision Time

For the last four or five days I’ve been working on revision. It’s that thing you do before getting the finalized for publication. There are many sites and pages out there, if you do a search for “book revision” that tell you to do it in this way or in that way…

I came across two interesting terms yesterday before I headed to bed. That’s Plotter and Pantser. A plotter is someone who does an outline of their novel before they write it, and a Pantser is when you write by the seat of your pants.

I am trying to work out whether I am Plotter or a Pantser, and while I am revising, I came to the conclusion I am bit of both.

I know where the overall story that I am currently revising is heading, but I like to add that element of surprise so my characters don’t know what lies around the next corner they turn. I am getting moments of “I wonder what such and such is really thinking right now because I put him or her or them in that situation?” and usually do it right in the middle when they’re busy with something else or when they’re facing the good or bad that’s also present in the story.

So after reading up all the advice on doing revision, I have come to one conclusion about how I tackle it myself. I do the usual checks and balances to make sure that grammar works, that the characters don’t grow an extra arm somewhere in the middle of the story (errr… that’s not really happening, just saying that now!), that all subplots work, and that all the “easter egg moments” are fun to read and discover for those who end up reading my books, and that all my spelling is correct.

The “easter egg moment” is a term coined from the game World of Warcraft that I play from time to time. In that game an easter egg is often a hidden item or message of some sort that can add humour or other fun to the game. For example one such easter egg is the reference to the tv series Lost that can be found in the zone called Sholazar Basin, where a hatch is located in the middle of a lake, with the enigmatic numbers featured in the tv series listed on them – the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42 that appeared in Lost are shown as an easter egg…

So the term “easter egg moments” is a term I coined early on, and the first person to hear it is my partner, who would be told something about what I was writing, and then I’d say “That’s an easter egg moment for connecting this book with the overall story arc…”. The easter egg moments are definitely Plotter items in my book, it’s the moments before or after that can have an element of Pantser to them.

Revision makes sure that the Plotter parts and the Pantser parts both work for the overall story I’ve got planned… and there I just laid out an easter egg moment in my blog for you to ponder over…

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