Day 7 – Focus the Narrative Drive

This is the continued saga of my foray into Janice Hardy’s Revise Your Novel in 31 Days     at-home workshop (

The first week of editing is finished and I survived. Yay!

Today I am checking my narrative drive in case I knocked things out of alignment with all my fiddling this week. I will be looking at plan of action, clearness of motivation, story point and story question, and changes in the scene.

At this point I realize I need to do some actual editing instead of just taking notes.

I have clarified my protagonist’s motivation on the first page. Now I need to keep that motivation clear throughout my book. I am adding a note to do this as I make other revisions to my chapters. I also rewrote my Chapter 17 to include some conflict.

I am still struggling with the possible deletion of Chapter 30. There is some good stuff here, I think, but it lacks conflict and tension. It will either be reborn as something more interesting, or be absorbed into other chapters. I don’t know why I’m procrastinating. I guess I don’t like to make big decisions on the fly. But more likely I don’t want to kill my darlings, as Stephen King says. I guess it’s time to sharpen my sword.

Results: This first week has shown me how much I need to consider when I am contemplating or outlining my story. A little awareness at the beginning may have saved me some time now. But I am still excited about this 31-day plan. Whatever happens, I will be much farther down the editing path than I would have been otherwise.

Take-Away Value:

It’s time to pat yourself on the back. You have just spent a week in deep thought about your story and how it flows. Your writing engine’s wheels are firmly set on the rails that will keep your story moving straight ahead.

So, how have you done? Have you found this first week easy, difficult, or somewhere in-between? Any weak areas you need to work on? Any strengths that became clearer?

Okay. Recharge for tomorrow. See you on the next page.





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