Tag Archives: revising

Alina Sayre Guest Blog & e-Book Giveaway

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Alina Sayre

The Illuminator Rising, is the third book in The Voyages of the Legend series. See her guest blog below.

e-Book Giveaway Rules

1) Subscribe to the Kingdom of Torrence webpage (including email),  and
2) add the following to the comments in Alina’s guest blog:

  • your name and
  • a comment on another section or post on the KOT website.

If you have read one of Alina’s books, a comment about that book would be appreciated. The winner will be randomly selected and checked against the subscribers list. Alina will send the e-Book directly to the email the winner provides. Good luck.

Guest post

Insanity-Free Revision

My writing process makes me what they call a “pantser.” I create a vague, skeletal outline of my book plots in advance, but then I start writing and see where the characters take me. Sometimes they are stubborn, and I end up with a tangled-up manuscript at the end. That was definitely the case with my latest book, The Illuminator Rising. 76,000 words is a lot of tangled manuscript. So if you’re going to be a pantser, it’s crucial to be a good reviser. Here are some of the hacks I’ve developed that help me tackle huge revision projects without going insane along the way!

  • My revision process starts with my amazing team of test readers. After doing two complete drafts of a manuscript in complete solitude, I send the rough product to them for their hard, honest critique.

Since they’re a mix of middle-grade readers, young adults, and parents of middle-graders, I get a whole range of comments, which is exactly what I need! I compile their feedback into a comprehensive spreadsheet. Seeing it all together on one page helps me to identify trends and recognize the manuscript’s biggest weaknesses—like that the early draft of The Illuminator Rising had 28 named characters, most of whose personal arcs got lost halfway through the book. Oops.

Once I’ve got the comments spreadsheet together,

  • I divide the book into sections and assign each one its own color of post-it note. (I couldn’t write anything without post-it notes. I should put them in my book acknowledgments.) Each thread of revision—each shallow character, dropped plotline, or half-baked theme—gets its own sticky note.

The Illuminator Rising had a lot of sticky notes. Then I can work chronologically through the book and check off each sticky note as I address it. In college writing classes, I was known to physically cut up my stories with scissors so I could visually rearrange the pieces and fix structural issues. That’s virtually impossible (or at least a really messy idea) with a 75,000-word manuscript. So for this book, I went digital instead.

For one messy section,

  • I digitally highlighted each logical section in a different color. Then I grouped the bits and pieces together by color, which allowed me to quickly see where the material was, how long the sections were, when I finished a section, etc.

It was a lot of staring at screens, but I think it helped me sort the material into a much more logical flow!

All in all, Draft 6 of The Illuminator Rising looks very, very different than the draft I sent to my test readers. (As in, different people die in this draft. Surprise!) I hope it makes for an exciting read!

Synopsis of The Illuminator Rising
Book 3 of The Voyages of the Legend
 

Driven from their home island of Rhynlyr, Ellie and her friends must solve a riddle to find the survivors of the Vestigia Roi. But instead of a safe haven, they discover a hopeless band of refugees paralyzed by fear. Strengthened by new allies and new gifts, the crew of the 

Legend faces dangers like never before. Can they escape being shot out of the sky, falling over the Edge of the world, or being engulfed by urken armies long enough to rally the Vestigia Roi? And can they rekindle a fire from the ashes of the One Kingdom before Draaken takes over the world? 

 
Advance praise: 
“…a thrilling read…[Sayre] has a flair for being able to capture the interest of a reader and hold onto it.”
-Readers’ Favorite, 5-star review

Alina Sayre is also on Goodreads