At this point in my revision process, I sat down with scene summary, the notebook from step three, and a pen, with the manuscript on the floor beside me. If you'll notice, that meant I had two highly complementary things at my disposal:
- an overview of the story arc, and
- a list of things wrong with the story.
- Remove or change any scenes that added nothing to plot or character
- Carry or remove plot threads that got dropped part way through the book
- Foreshadow or remove plot threads that appeared mysteriously rather late in the book
- Balance out suspense
By the end of this step, I had a marked-up manuscript, a revised scene summary, a timeline and several maps, and an updated list of character names (pretty much everyone in my book had had some form of their personal address changed.) Everything waited in readiness for my favorite part of the process, which we'll talk about Wednesday.