Revision: logic and imagination

Both logic and imagination are necessary in revision. Revision is not some dry process. It is fluid, floating between solid logic and airy imagination. The writer dips her toes in each world. Logic gives you the ABCs – structure, guidelines, rules. Imagination gives you the words.

An unspecified river in Bangladesh
An unspecified river in Bangladesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The chapter I spent three days revising needs to be cut completely. The decision was difficult but is firmly grounded in logic. I will probably spend the rest of my time today figuring out how this choice affects the beginning of my WIP and how I will fill the gap. This last will need logic and creativity.

Logic
tells me to use the space to expand on my main conflict. When I
deleted nonessential chapters, I also deleted a number of chapters
that grounded the reader in the main character’s ordinary world. It
bothers me that the reader does not get a real feel for her home
village. So I want the setting to be in the village and I want the
building conflict between the main character and the antagonist to
involve the villagers.

Imagination
uses these guidelines to come up with several scenarios. The
antagonist can turn the villagers against my character in an attempt
to keep her from interfering with the plan he is about to execute
(inciting incident). The main character can try to prove the
antagonist’s innocence to her best friend, only to become suspicious
herself. I like these two best, so I decide to combine them.

See?

The
writer is the river that washes against two banks and takes shape
from both.

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