Recently, my friend was complaining about his revision process.
“All I got done today was evaluating one aspect of my WIP and thinking about it. I didn’t get any writing done.”
But thinking about your story is part of writing and a definite part of revision. Many people write a first draft without an outline and like to follow the character around; in other words, they are very right-brained about it and like to go with the flow. Usually, though, even these writers have to be left-brained at some point and just evaluate what they’ve written.
Take the scenic view–what does your story look like from a distance?
What patterns are turning up in my story? Do I like those patterns? Can I strengthen them?
What sticks with me? The characters, a certain plot, a certain setting? And will the same thing stick with my readers?
How can I create more plot twists? Anything unexpected that I can build into the story?
Do I like my main character? Do I create sympathy for him?
Maybe (for those of us who are too left-brained) just take a day and immerse yourself in the world you’ve created. Daydream for the entire day about living there.
So much of revision is thinking and allowing yourself the time to absorb the characters and to feel what they feel! Don’t feel bad if all you do for an entire day is think–or daydream. It’s necessary.