Revising a Draft

What’s in Mrs. Hale’s Receipt in the Million 1857?

 690. To take out Writing.–When recently written, ink may be completely removed by the oxymuriatic acid (concentrated and in solution). The paper is to be washed over repeatedly with the acid;but it will be necessary afterward to wash it also with lime-water, for the purpose of neutralizing any acid that may be left on the paper, and which would considerably weaken it. But if the ink have been long written, it will have undergone such a change s to prevent the preceding process from taking effect. It ought therefore to be washed with liver of sulphur (sulphuret of ammonia) before the oxymriatic acid is applied. It maybe been washing with a hair pencil.

Revising and Editing: Looking at an old friend

For the past several months I have been revising  a novel, Timber Rose, which is the prequel to my novel Tree Soldier. Set in the Pacific Northwest just after the turn of the 20th century, it tells the story of a young couple making their way in a mountain community undergoing change with the arrival of  the newly formed Forest Service and the bustling logging companies determined to take all the trees down.  The parents of Kate Alford, the romantic interest in Tree Soldier, their backgrounds sometimes collide or collude against them, but their love stays strong.  Complete at about 117,000 words, it was a novel I hadn’t looked at in years. With Tree Soldier out, it seemed like a responsible project for another stab at self-publishing.

Where to Start?

Mrs Hale certainly knew her chemistry, but she was trying to save paper which was expensive back then. Taking on a revision will definitely require paper. How to proceed?

1) Find all the files. They got a bit scattered over the years.

2) Print off and do a read. (So far,  it looks really good. Some POV shifts and other minor writerly things). Story flows, research holds up.

3) Revise using hard copy. (I like pencil) Add paper where necessary for new scenes.

4) Input changes into the chapter files on computer.

5) Create a table or excel sheet showing the chapters noting the starting text of each chapter, word count, action in story, file name and chapter #.

6) Break up chapter length to insure good story arch in each chapter

Flap Copy for Timber Rose

Caroline Symington is young woman from a prominent family in Portland, Oregon, but she is more interested in outdoor climbing groups and the freedoms a “New Woman” in 1906 enjoys than fancy parties and the politics of money. If she marries, it will be on her on terms. If she has children, it will be because she believes in “voluntary motherhood.” When she meets and falls in love with Bob Alford, an enterprising, working class man from the east side of Lake Washington, little does she know how sorely her theories will be tested.

Off to San Juan Island and English Camp this coming weekend. I’ll be making my own ink for the Pioneer Folkways I’ll be bringing to the visitors in the national park.


3 thoughts on “Revising a Draft

    • Thanks Ridgely for the kind thoughts. Hope you are better. I”ll be reading at 12:30 this Sunday at the Forest Fair. at new museum.

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