Getting to a Coherent Draft

The structure of a novel can make or break it. If it’s well-structured—as in the pacing is good, the events happen in the most logical order (even if that’s not necessarily chronologically), and the characters do things you’d expect them to do—that’s more than half the battle. And if you’re lucky, the structure is pretty good starting with the first draft. Most of my novels/novellas are like this (now—maybe not in the beginning), but not all of them.

One of the novels I’m working on now wasn’t so lucky. The first draft was okay. It was actually pretty good until about 2/3 of the way through. And then it kind of fell flat. The ending sucked, to put it bluntly.

So on my first round of revisions, I rewrote the ending entirely. My protagonist made a better decision to start with, and then I added in a new twist after that, and then everything wrapped up more or less neatly. But I still didn’t really like it. I kept looking back at my original ending, wondering if there was something there after all. Continue reading

Rewriting, Revising, and Editing: My Strategies

Considering this blog is “Cameron Chapman On Writing” and not “Cameron Chapman Promoting Her Books and Nothing Else”, I thought it was time to get back to writing about writing. Besides, there’s a nice, big, shiny link to where you can buy Aboard the Unstoppable Aerostat Fenris in the sidebar.

So today I’d like to talk about my strategies for revising and editing my work. Some writers have very set techniques for editing their work. Others are sort of all over the place. I like to think I fall somewhere in the middle. Continue reading

The Dangers of Beta Readers

I’ve written before about using beta readers to find holes or inconsistencies in your manuscript. Good beta readers, including good online critique sites, can be an invaluable part of polishing your novel or other writing, especially if you’re fairly new to writing and your betas are more experienced (or more widely read).

But there are downsides to beta readers, too.  Continue reading