I love revision. It’s the time I get look at a story as a whole but also work on small details to strengthen it thoughout. Here are more revision ideas from Darcy Pattison’s Novel Metamorphosis: Uncommon Ways to Revise:
“Depth is an unconscious search for patterns…the sum of the parts adds up to something more.“
What are some ways you can add depth to your story?
Darcy suggests identifying “themes, ideas, objects, dialogue, or other elements you want to reinforce” in your story. Look for patterns of repition that already might be there and intentionally build upon them. For example, in my story about a girls’ club, the first scene involves a box meant to represent the story’s central friendship. This is reinforced in the last scene, where the protagonist realizes friendship is something that can’t be packed away. Though a box is not mentioned directly, the image is there, showing the progression the protagonist expereinces.
At Darcy’s revision retreat, I realized I had some ideas I’d never fully developed. In several places in the story, I’d created glimpses of plants and music, hoping to hint at the idea that true friendship cannot be forced or protected (box) but must be given room to grow (plant) and develop (music). It wasn’t really working. My critique partner helped me find spots here and there where I could progressively build on these ideas:
A plant in the clubhouse that is alternately watered and forgotten
Adding a scene at the protagonist’s piano recital
Just adding a few lines in several parts of the story has strengthened the ideas I’m trying to reinforce.
What repetition or images are you consciously or unconsciously using? How can you develop them further?