Evelyn Chartres Author
Revisions

A Quick Revision Update

Since Revision 3 was completed on 22 Jan 2018, three more revisions were completed for the Van Helsing Paradox. These revisions all aimed at improving the overall readability of the manuscript.

Of note there were 1827 revisions and a averaged 38 words between corrections for Revision 3. This followed the trends noted during my review of the Grand and that remains true with this project. The particulars of the cycles are as follows:

Revision 4

  • Revisions – 928
  • Revisions per Word – 70

Revision 5

  • Revisions – 825
  • Revisions per Word – 78

Revision 6

  • Revisions – 788
  • Revisions per Word – 147

The Revisions per Word metric is the most telling, every additional revision leads to fewer corrections to make. While corrections do tend to be grouped together in the manuscript, I can now read pages at a time without making any notes. This trend is expected to continue until the Revisions to make number under 100. That’s normally my cue to send it off to my editor for polish prior to release.

 

The Van Helsing Paradox – Revision 3

Given my schedule for the next couple of months, I decided forgo my normal pause. Putting my revisions on hold would have me revising the Van Helsing Paradox during a business trip and that would have been fairly disruptive.

Revision 3 is now complete and I ended up with about 500 less revisions. There was an increase of 350 words despite the there being a net loss for most chapters. Two additional scenes were added to describe Clara physically, which led to a net increase. Revisions are getting smaller in scope and I rarely need to rewrite a few sentences are rewritten.

So what does this tell me? That I am on track. While this revision is far from perfect, my metrics are improving and I plan to restart the process end February.

Visually Comparing the Grand’s Revisions

A visual comparison between revisions for the Man and the Sea, a chapter for the Grand. This particular video demonstrates how the Spiral Development method can apply to the review process of a novel; namely how chapters are refined over time.

This is a follow to my Comparing the Grand’s Revisions post, which goes into why and how this particular chapter was selected for comparison. This video also demonstrates how the amount of changes gradually recede to leave behind a coherent manuscript and that is something any author wants to see!

Direct comparison between Revision 2 and 14

This video is a composite comparison of 12 chapters in all. While there are 14 versions of the chapters, some had no changes to bring forward so there was nothing gained by showing them. For those curious, the above image below denotes the total changes between Revision 2 and Revision 14.

Comparing the Grand’s Revisions

When I wrote the Grand, I made sure to collect statistics on changes and kept a copy of revisions. This enabled me to measure my progress and gauge how things were moving along. I detailed this process before under the post titled Spiral Development for the Literary World.

There was one element I never explored at the time and that was comparing the earliest revision available against the newest. In the back of my mind, I half-expected it show me a document filled with corrections and would find very little original text remaining. What I found was pretty much exactly as I imagined.

To find the ideal candidate, I looked through the amount of changes made per revision and originally found that the Van Helsing Paradox had the highest number. Not a revelation per sey, considering it is also my largest chapter.

Instead, I compared total revisions made against the amount of words and discovered that the Man and the Sea had highest percentage of corrections over it’s lifetime. Since this chapter is also one of the shortest, it also allowed me to show visually how the bulk of the chapter was altered.

For those curious here is a list of the number of changes based on revision:

  • Revision 2 – 62
  • Revision 3 – 30
  • Revision 4 – 17
  • Revision 5 – 12
  • Revision 6 – 4
  • Revision 7 – 3
  • Revision 8 – 2
  • Revision 9 – 1
  • Revision 10 – 3
  • Revision 11 – 2
  • Revision 12 – 1
  • Revision 13 – 1
  • Revision 14 – 1

Overall I found it humbling and fascinating. It allowed me to see how dramatic 12 revisions could be when compared directly!

The End of the Fourteenth Cycle

Even Things That Go Bump in the Night Need a Place to Unwind

I have completed my fourteenth review of the Grand. This review resulted in a 42% decrease in corrections when compared to the thirteenth cycle. Ethereal Nights had the most substantial drop of 88%, while Penny Dreadful increased by the 400%. Overall, there were 45 corrections which averages 3 changes per chapter.

About half the chapters saw a drop in changes during this cycle. Of note, One Flight Over averaged of 4,452 words between corrections. Here is a summary for this cycle:

  • There was a 42% drop in corrections when compared to revision thirteen;
  • 45 modifications for the entire work;
  • 3 modifications per chapter;
  • Ethereal Nights had the most substantial drop at 88%;
  • Penny Dreadful increased by 400%; and
  • One Flight Over averaged 4,452 words between corrections.

These revision took far less time than revisions prior to seven and for the following reasons:

  • It takes far less time to run through the material;
  • There are far fewer errors to find with an average of 1,951 words between corrections. This improves on the 1,209 words per change seen in revision twelve and is the first above a thousand; and
  • Changes implemented are minor in scope.

This is effectively makes this revision my last. I have handed the work over to a copy editor and will include those changes in what would be officially known as the fifteenth revision. Also, since revision zero was my first revision the grand total would be sixteen total revisions to get this novel ready!