I adopted a nifty, new (to me) process while revising my WIP: chunking.
chunking • \chung’ king\ v. 1 the processing of splitting an overwhelming MS into “chunks,” or parts, in order to revise the whole by parts.
I didn’t set out to chunk my MS on purpose, but it was already split into distinct parts because it has two POVs. I wrote the two POVs separately, mainly because I don’t like switching back and forth while writing and also I wanted each narrative to stand on its own. I am about to finally stitch the two together, once I go through POV #1 one more time with my little red pencil.
Because the story alternates between those two POVs, each narrative already has distinct breaks. This meant that when I started revising I had 2 narratives, one with 4 parts and one with 5.
(All these numbers are confusing me already. TOO MUCH MATH FOR WRITING! And I even like math.)
Anyway, I’ve been revising each part on its own, in preparation for revising the story as a whole. And you know what? Chunking was super-helpful! Focusing on sections of the story on a micro-level was so manageable. I had none of those, OMG, what am I going to do with the end of this book?!? moments because I was just focusing on the chunk at hand.
Of course, chunking can only be part of the revision process, otherwise the larger story arc will likely not work. That’s what I’m about to start working on, smoothing over the story on the macro level [bites nails]. Knowing that my chunks are pretty solid [that phrase . . . makes me think of barf. Sorry.] makes me feel refreshingly confident going in, though.
I just started doing this, too! I got Scrivener and now my ms is broken down into chapters. I’m going through a chapter at a time revising based on my CPs’ comments and any smaller issues I found. I’ll rewrite scenes at this point, too. And then, like you said, I’ll have to do an overall edit.
It makes revising less overwhelming for sure.
Love the new term (and your tags)! And I also just started doing this.
Your play on words (“chunk it”/”chuck it”) scared me at first as I thought you meant the second version. Glad to hear it’s the first 🙂
I tend to revise in broad strokes then work toward the nitty-gritty, though I’ll sometimes get sidetracked by the details along the way. This sounds like an interesting (and more organized)approach.
Glad to hear you like Scrivener, Tracey. I’ve been thinking of getting it, although I am weirdly attached to working in MS Word. It sounds like Scrivener’s functionality is way better for writers.
There were chunks I wanted to chuck, though, Jennifer. I mean, are chunks. 🙂
And I’m so glad someone found the tags entertaining. Revising makes me punchy, apparently.
I like this. I will chunk with confidence now!
Yay for chunking! I just finished fixing up my final chunk for the WIP. Now it’s time to . . . reconstitute them. 🙂