NaNoWriMo has started to become a blur for some of us, for other’s it is still a heavy reminder of the few pounds we gained from all that sugar rush and snacks. But now it’s time to hop back on the roller-coaster of publishing that novel.
Hope you used that time away from your manuscript to refresh your take on your story and are now prepared to hack it to pieces. Love hurts after all and you have to love your novel to want to clean it up, get it to par for publication, and decorate it with a beautiful cover.
In our first step of many, many steps, is Revision.
If you have already started revising, two thumbs up to you, but that isn’t always recommended for everyone. It is encouraged to take a break from your work before tackling the massive step of revising your story, to let your brain reset after writing 50,000 words in one month. It helps make it easier to notice misspelled words, obvious word swapping, and other minor edits you can avoid later.
So what exactly does one do in revising?
to re-examine and make alterations to a written or printed work, to alter so as to make such work more efficient or realistic
to reread work done previously and improve one’s knowledge of the subject
And there you have it. This is the step where you reread your entire work, catch those obvious, hard to look away, mistakes. This is where you notice discrepancies, slipup’s, and gaps in your story, content, and flow. Here you cut the fat from the fat. Notice all those repetitive phrases and words, change them up or take them out completely.
Search for ‘as’ and try to take as many of them out. ‘As’ is mainly your brain telling you that you should use ‘and’ or start a new sentence. Sometimes you can flip the sentence around and delete both ‘as’ and ‘and’. Another word is ‘just’, the list goes on.
How about tackling those other areas like dialogue? You can read the dialogue on its own and then as part of the story to see how it flows. Dialogue is one of your weaker points in writing? Check out my blog on how to make dialogue work.
Don’t forget the dispute whether to use a prologue and epilogue. Does your first chapter work better as a prologue and does your prologue flow better as the first chapter? Read my take on this conundrum in Prologue and Epilogue, both or neither?
Done with revising? Fine tuned your dialogue and figured out what flow your story should start off with? Check back later for the next step or question rather, to beta or not to beta?! 🙂 Till then.