Nadia Lee | NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author of Contemporary Romance » Blog Archive » Revision

I’m in the middle of revision right now. It’s going well, especially because I like the story. (It’s near-impossible to do this if you don’t really care for your own story…) I like drafting too, but sometimes revision can be more “fun” because I can clear away all the gunk that’s “almost there” but not quite.

Below you can see my desk during revision mode. It always has lots of highlighters, my drink of choice (it’s coffee in the picture because I took it in the morning, but usually it’s a big bottle of water at room temperature; I don’t like cold water because it sometimes hurts my throat), trusty Synonym Finder, a notebook to jot down any ideas or reminders as I revise, and several pens in different colors. I also use Word Menu (not in the picture), which is a reverse look-up dictionary. And of course a print out of my work-in-progress.

Nadia Lee's desk (revision mode)

Now a close-up of some pages after I’ve savaged them. Once I’m satisfied that they’ve been sufficiently brutalized, I transcribe everything to the soft copy on my computer. That takes a while because…um…sometimes my handwriting’s very bad. I try to write neatly as much as possible in normal settings, but when I’m revising, I jot down ideas very fast because I don’t want to lose any gems that come to mind.


All of us have written and revised at one point, even if it’s not fiction (school essays, personal essays / statements for college apps, etc.). How do you revise?

6 comments to “Revision”

  1. Jennifer Shirk
    · June 23rd, 2010 at 7:17 pm · Link

    I print out and revise in hand, too. Then retype into the computer.

  2. Emily
    · June 23rd, 2010 at 10:25 pm · Link

    What are you revising?


  3. Magdalen
    · June 24th, 2010 at 1:52 am · Link

    I haven’t quite finished the first draft of my novel (less than 15% left to go), but I’ll be surprised if I’ll revise in long-hand. I have two dictionaries (one with a thesaurus) on my computer, and I take notes in separate files.

    The third go round, of course, I make changes on print-outs, mostly so my genius husband (who has professional proofreading credentials among his other accomplishments) can make sure all my punctuation is as it should be.

    I also find reading stuff aloud helpful — the rhythm of words can be very telling.

  4. Nadia Lee
    · June 23rd, 2010 at 10:28 pm · Link

    E tu, Jennifer? :)

    Emily — A Goddess to Love. Didn’t I tell you about it?

  5. Renmiu
    · June 24th, 2010 at 10:48 pm · Link

    You have a messy desk. It is worse than my own :D hehe. Love the mug :)

  6. Nadia Lee
    · June 24th, 2010 at 11:53 pm · Link

    Magdalen – ITA on reading out loud. :) I find it very hard to revise on screen. I’m not sure why that is, which is why I print. I just see things differently on screen v. on paper.

    Renmiu – Really? LOL. I posted the clean version! :D

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