Revisions. Edits. The deconstructing of your novel just to turn around and put it back together again. Hopefully, better, tighter, more focused.
We all have to do it, as much as we dream of being able to write a first draft that is brilliant and perfect. So how do you do it? What’s your method?
There are tons of great workshops on the subject out there, each one a bit different but all with the same goal: to help you revise your manuscript. I highly recommend Margie Lawson’s Deep EDITS and Empowering Characters Emotions. These two classes really help you dig deep.
For myself, I try to follow Margie’s method. It involves 5 different colored highlighters. This is great for you school supply junkies. This really helps you see what you’ve got and what you don’t have. Once you know this, you have a starting point.
Then she gives you tons of rhetorical devices to pump up the power. You’ve seen these used and probably used some yourself, whether you knew it or not.
Of course we have to check for over-used words. We all have our favorites. I keep a list on my corkboard of mine.
Do you read your manuscript out loud? It’s a great way to see how well it flows. Especially the dialogue. Something that sounds funny or witty in our head can bomb when uttered aloud.
I’m finishing up revisions on Out of the Shadows this week (Yay!) and it will be heading out to critique partners next. It got me thinking about the process though. There are as many different approaches as there are writers. They can be time-consuming and draining, but the exhilaration at reading through the finished product and seeing how much stronger the story reads makes it worth it. Right?
So how do you approach revisions? Do you take some time off and then hit it? Do you just start back at the beginning and work your way through it? Do you let critique partners see it so they can offer suggestions? How many times do you generally make a pass over your manuscript? I’d love to hear your own methods.
Don’t forget – Blogmania is tomorrow and Thursday. Don’t miss out on your chance to win a ton of great prizes.
4 hours ago