I’m in the middle of revision right now. Though my process is different for each project, I’ll share the revision method for my current WIP.
Step One: I print out the whole thing in whatever font strikes my fancy, but it’s always double-spaced so I have enough room to scribble notes. Then I read it through in 3-5 days and make notes. They’re not extensive, mind you. It’s mostly for big things like:
- Yawn. This lags.
- This doesn’t belong here.
- I have no idea what this sentence is trying to say.
- Oops. Misplaced punctuation / words.
- Who’s saying this?
- Action choreography doesn’t make sense here.
- This point deserves emotional depth upgrade.
- Whoa. Emo much?
Step Two: I consult my Maass notes and go through the hard copy draft again, this time marking places that could be changed / improved per my notes. If I run out of space on the actual manuscript page, I use a notebook designated for revision.
Step Three: I finally make all the changes on my computer.
Step Four: I spend about 2 weeks doing nothing but reading other people’s books and/or working on some other projects, but I do not revise anything I’ve written, even if it’s not my WIP. (I might beta for other people who I may ping later for Steps Seven and Eight below.) This helps me “reset” my eyes and brain, so to speak.
Step Five: I print out the WIP again. Repeat Step One. Then go through it again with ECE and EDITS.
Step Six: Make changes to my soft copy. Send to the 1st set of betas.
Step Seven: Make any changes as needed per the 1st set of betas.
Step Eight: Send it to the 2nd set of betas. (By this point, the manuscript should be more or less in shape.) Make final changes as needed.
Step Nine: Send to Agent. Give myself a week of detox time from revision so I can “reset” again as I know Agent usually has her own set of revision comments, etc.
How do you revise? What tools / books have you found helpful?