HERE’S THE BASIC WAY TO REVISE/EDIT YOUR NOVEL
Read through a bit at a time and make changes.
Repeat several times until moderately satsified (let’s face it we are never 100% satisfied)
Okay so it’s not that simple, there is far more to think about grammar, voice, plot, character and much more, but that’s the crux of it. I spent ages trying to work out how to revise my first big novel. I thought it was near impossible at one point to get everything done. I tried all the usual things – breaking it up into parts, reading advice on editing etc. All of it just frustrated me. I soon realised that I wasn’t doing what I used to do when checking stories, just reading it through and amending parts that didn’t seem right. That was it. A lot of it was due to a lack of time, I know people always complain about time but it’s hard to think about things properly when you have a million other things on your mind. I remembered that when I was a kid, I would have just thought about it and believed that anything I didn’t know, I would learn. Somehow I lost that belief.
So if you get stuck in revising your novel or even on where to start, remember the simple version above and do that first. People will often tell you to leave your novel before revising it in order to give yourself time but I found that this didn’t work for me at all. What happened was that I switched off from it and lost touch with it. Normally I would go straight to writing another but I knew that I needed to get on with it now so I wouldn’t let myself. I was wrong to change my writing process but I can be forgiven because I was just trying to work out the best way forward.
So my advice to new writers is keep learning your writing skills but keep it simple when thinking about revision. It’s a big task anyway and needs focus rather than extra complications. Working on it doesn’t have to be clinical. Do it like you would anything else you would submit, be it online or in a letter. Check how it reads, check grammar, spelling, sentence structure and formatting but above all don’t pressure yourself the first time you do it on a large project.
- Tips for Revising Your Novel (bardicblogger.wordpress.com)
- You: Composite index revised upward (search.japantimes.co.jp)
- Writing Wednesday – Revising the Long Ones (kikiwritesabout.wordpress.com)
- Composite index revised upward (search.japantimes.co.jp)
- The Fertile Random of Revision Hell (lilithsaintcrow.com)
- When is it done? (parkinglotconfessional.com)
- Before and After: A Kitchen Revision (casasugar.com)
- Bugatti Galibier revisions push it closer to production (topgear.com)