Hi all. I love the writing process, but get stymied when it comes to revision. I've completed two drafts of my novel, but I don't know how "rigorous" my second revision was. Sure, I cut scenes, added scenes, fleshed out characters, and more, but I still feel like I have "miles to go before I sleep." Does anyone out there have revision tips? Do most of you start from scratch (i.e. open a new document and start over--may be too difficult for novels) or do you do a lot of cutting, pasting, and reworking of scenes?
Keep working on it Candy. If you want a Beta reader, I'd be glad to read for content. I promise my critiques are helpful, never mean. I've been on the receiving side of a critique that made me cry, w/o helpful feedback. If I have a problem with some thing I've read, but can't say why, I mark it as a clunk. Real techincal there huh? Other parts I will mark it with specific issues. But this is just my opinion and if doesn't work for you, you can ignore it. These are just a couple rules to my critique groups.
Thank you, Diane, Katherine, and everyone else for sharing your helpful links and tips! I am doing the first round of revisions on my novel, and it is taking forever. I'm hoping subsequent revisions will be quicker, since I'm fixing the big stuff now. After revising, I'll be chapter swapping with a fellow novelist, getting group critique in an 8-person workshop, reading aloud in front of strangers...and then revising some more.
Katherine, wow! That's a huge offer, thanks! I'll definitely let you know. I'd be mortified at this moment to share my ms, but after the first round or two, that'll be an option I'd look into. Please either visit my blog or email me your information so I can have your contact info when the time arises!!
I'm not sure how I missed this discussion but I'm so glad I found it! Thanks so much for all of the wonderful suggestions ~ I used to print my ms out to work on it but wanted to try to work on it on my computer (to save paper) ~ I figured that it worked when I got used to just reading work online (when I was in a group) ~ but I'm finding it difficult and may just go back to printing the chapters out. I do like the suggestion of keeping a notepad nearby and making notes/suggestions as you go through the piece, I think I'm going to try that one and see how it goes.
I also want to thank everyone for their suggestions, links and tips! They are so appreciated and timely! (I just "put it out there" last night that I would find some help with this.)
Printing out a doc and revising does help bunches. So does reading it aloud. Or my friend has this tip: read the whole thing from the end to the beginning.
Hearing your work read aloud is very helpful for getting a feel for how well it flows. I like to have my computer read sections back to me -- with my PC, it sounds like Stephen Hawking is reading my book. It's fascinating.
Thanks Vicki and Neve ~ I haven't tried that (reading it out loud) though I must admit I like the idea of having my computer read it to me, I have a feeling I'd "catch" more that way. I'll definitely try it ~ thanks again. :)