Welcome to Road Trip Wednesday day, a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway posts a weekly writing- or reading-related question and anyone can answer it on their own blogs. Check out the original post for links to other Road Trippers’ answers!
This week’s topic is: How do you approach editing/revising? Any tips or tricks or resources you can share?
Funny that this should be this week’s topic; I recently sent my manuscript off to beta readers, and I started asking myself this very question. How do I revise? I felt the need to have a system, so I read some wise words from Veronica Roth, and this week’s post by Kristin Cashore, with interest. Eventually, though, revisions boiled down to something quite simple. In flipping through the scenes and individual notes my readers left me, I realized I hadn’t read my book in a while. That sounds dumb, because I’m rereading scenes constantly. But not in order, and rarely more than one or two at a time. My book was, in my mind, a bunch of jagged pieces. I had to find the way to fit them together.
So I printed my book out and read it all the way through. It was painful (so painful), but I forced myself through the flimsy, poorly-written sections knowing I’d subjected my beta readers to it, so I had to be brave. (Eeep!) Then I went back and started a new outline, from scratch, based on my notes and my beta notes. It’s the fourth major overhaul to this WiP’s outline, and somehow I doubt it’ll be the last. So what I’m doing now is tossing the scenes I don’t need (15,000 words, phew!), rewriting the entire beginning (blerg), and revising every single sentence.
It’s time-consuming and can be mentally exhausting (creating a revision goal requires a lot of concentration and extended careful thought), but I can say with only the slightest eye twitch that revisions are definitely my favorite part of writing. Every sentence I tweak, all the words I toss aside, and the plot changes and twists that come about in this stage improve the book exponentially.
What about you?? Any tips or tricks for making revisions work (please)??