Wednesday, 27 January 2010

holly lisle’s one-pass revision method

As you might have guessed from the teasers, the first draft of my epic fantasy IRONBANE is banging on the inside of its drawer screaming to be revised. I’m still traumatised from revising THE INFERNAL FAMILY, so this time I thought I’d do something a little different: Holly Lisle’s One-Pass Revision Method.

I've always loved the concept of the One-Pass Revision Method. The discovery stage is particularly helpful -- you have to establish in only a handful of words key aspects of the story, such as the theme, one-line summary, protagonist's character arc, etc. Every time I start a novel I use these tricks to keep my first draft focused. Also, my friend Amy Bai used the One-Pass Revision Method for her brilliant fantasy novel SONG. I'm secretly hoping that my IRONBANE will be a tiny bit as awesome as SONG by the time I'm done.

So I've assembled:
  1. Three coloured pens.
  2. One fresh notebook, now adorned with pretty stickers, because I am secretly a three-year-old.
  3. My printed first draft, a monstrous stack of paper that cannot possibly be only 85k.
The discovery section doesn’t hold too many fears for me, since I've already written a one-line summary, a one-paragraph summary and a query long before now, so I’m just going to note down some key ideas, themes and storylines and move straight into the hacking and slashing.

Wish me luck!


  1. Yay you and frightening stacks of paper :) Good luck with the revisions and hopefully I get to beta that second draft soon! (No, no pressure at all :p)

    And as someone with a sticker of the "cover" that I made for my book on my laptop...can my inner three-year-old come over and play with yours? ;)

  2. A one pass revision method? Let me at it.

    Good luck, not that you'll need it.