Sunday, March 24, 2013

Getting it right

You know what? A lot of times I really like revising a lot more than writing. I think this is because while I'm writing a first draft, I often have absolutely no idea where the story is going and I sometimes feel like I'm just stumbling through, trying to find a way to the end that might not even really work. In revision, I can make everything work. I know where the story is supposed to go and now can fix the things I messed up the first time.

I have a pretty set process I follow while revising.
  1. First, I read through the book on my computer and check anything glaring, move scenes around, figure out where new things need to be added in.
  2. I fix the things I saw in step one and read through again, fixing spelling and grammar and any missing words. I also delete as many cases of my kill list words as I can see.
  3. I send the book to my beta readers for feedback.
  4. Then I print everything out. This is my favorite part! I love getting the book on paper because I can revise deeper than I can on the computer. I don't know why, but seeing the manuscript printed out helps me to really see it. At this point, I read through the book at a slower pace, often reading things out loud, and I mark it all up. The pages become covered with red ink, adding in new scenes, deleting others, moving them around. I also read my beta readers' feedback and work on issues they found.
  5. Then I format the manuscript into .mobi format and import it into my Kindle. I read one final time, marking notes for things that need to be corrected, highlighting things that need to be deleted. I view the notes and highlights option on my Kindle when I go back to my computer later to type in these final changes.
  6. One last spelling check and a search for anymore kill list words. And it is done!
It is a much more involved process than first draft writing, and I have to admit that after the third time of reading the book I'm getting really tired of it. But I've done this process with several books now, and it seems to be the way that works best for me.

Do you have a revision process? If so, what is it?

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