Hello gentle reader,
a few weeks ago I tweeted a couple of revision tips using the #revisiontips hashtag and I was joined by other writers. I was then asked by Jani Grey if I could sum this tips up in a blog post… So here we are!
Tips from Kat Ellis:
After the first pass or several, fresh eyes are vital to spot things you won’t.
If you’re a visual person, get your colour code on. There’s a reason writers hoard all those glitter/neon pens.
I read my manuscripts aloud to my husband. Great way to spot clunky phrasing, especially in the dialogue.
Tips from Dahlia Adler:
If you have a Kindle, sending your manuscript to it and reading it that way can be immensely helpful in finding errors etc.
Keep track of your ms’s smaller details, especially if you’re planning a series, to keep things consistent and minimize error.
Use betas w/different strengths and skill sets if you can. It’s amazing what different people can bring to the table for you.
Be honest w/yourself about what’s unnecessary. Cutting 10K words only sucks til you realize how much better your ms is for it.
Tip from Marieke Nijkamp:
Change the font, the font size, and/or the page layout. Trick your brain into thinking it’s a new story.
And finally, tips from me:
Revising can feel overwhelming. Fixing the plot, the characters, the setting, etc It’s a lot. Being organized is essential.
Have a plan. If you don’t know what a revising plan looks like, check out
@stdennard‘s: http://aliciagregoire.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/susan-dennard-and-revision-process.html … Hers is FAB.
I tackle the big picture 1st (plot, relationships, characters, world building, pacing).Then I line-edit for filler words etc
Take your time. Whether you’re editing alone or based on your agent/editor’s feedback, take as much as time as is needed.
Print your manuscript and read through it in one sitting. Makes it much easier to catch typos and inconsistencies.
That’s it! I hope this is helpful. Feel free to add your own revision tips in the comments!