My muse has gone into hiding. Pouting, no doubt, that I think she led me down a dubious path, left me faced with a big, ol' honkin' revision.
Why do I illustrate this with a picture of bark? Because sometimes it really is true: You can't see the forest for the trees.
The novel in question is a YA fantasy more than 300 pages in length with suspenseful scenes and captivating chapter hooks--at least according to my fabulous crit group. I know there is a lot of good stuff there--wonderful old-growth giants and tender new saplings, but I'm not sure about the forest as a whole entity.
So for two months, I've been letting it "rest." I created this blog, rewrote a short story I'm going to submit and started a contemporary YA novel. So I haven't been idle, but I know it's time to face that revision.
I recently picked up some tips at a SCBWI "schmooze." I am going to rework key changes that should occur in the main characters at the beginning, middle and end of the book, thus strengthening the character development and relationships. I am also interviewing each of my main characters, letting them tell me who they are in their own voices. It's something that should perhaps be done at the start of a novel or part way into it, but I'm finding it eye-opening even now. And I am scrutinizing my world-building to find where it is weak or hackneyed.
But my muse, who makes occasional visits before retreating again, would rather have fun with the new toy she brought me--that other story where I can go for a wonderful romp and not have to face revision for a very long time.
My question and call for help is: What advice can you give me on tackling revision as a process? Do you have checklists, tips, lessons learned?