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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Revision Tools For Revising Your Manuscript

Just the thought of revision can make you quake in your chair. Where to begin? What to think about? Revision can be overwhelming. Here are 10 points about revision to help get you in the mood for revising.

1.  What is the story that I am telling?

2.  How will my character change?
    • Does my character get to where s/he needs to be?
      No – How do I make her change?
      ~  Introduce a crisis situation that makes my character  change.
      Yes – Do the things that happen along the way help get my character where s/he needs to be?
    3.  What does it mean to move forward?
      • Reveal something about the character.
      • Propel the plot.
      • Build a relationship that is important later in the book.
      4.  Summarize the things that don’t move the story forward.
      • An example of this is Charlie Brown, Linus, and Lucy speaking, but the adults always sound like,
        “Blah, blah, blah.”
      • One sentence summary of the scene.
      5.  Is my main plot a character development arc?
      • Subplots
        ~  Do they fit in?
        ~  When do they resolve?
        ~  How do they resolve?
      6.  Characters
      • What are my character's quirks and personality traits?
      • Do my secondary/minor characters grow with each appearance they make in the book?
      • Do my characters have unique voices?
      • Do they reveal everything about their characters?

        An example of this is sub vs grinder (sandwich)
        Their socio-economic placement
      • Does the dialogue let their relationships evolve?
      • How authentic do they sound?
      8.  Setting and Description
      • Picture it then brushstroke the description. Let the reader envision it, unless it must be specific.
      • For it to be specific, it must be important later in the book. If not, take it out.
      9.  Wordsmith
      • Search for commonly used, but unnecessary words.
        ~  Examples are just, so, next, that, but.
      10. Show, don’t tell.

      What works for you?

      formerly my 11/17/10 post ~  Revision Toolbox


      1. Good suggestions that I can keep in mind when I revise. Thank you.

      2. anything and everything works for me. But if a checklist gets too long, I get overwhelmed. But 10 - I can do. :)

      3. Wow. An outstanding list of tips! I'm editing right now so always good to have these reminders. Thank you and Happy Easter!

      4. Revision sometimes makes me quiver, but then I get beyond that and go through the manuscript time and again. These pointers are really great. Thanks for sharing, and it's a pleasure to meet you via the A-Z Challenge!

      5. good advice!
        happy easter wknd =)