Thoughts on Revision, by V

Revision is another fitting topic for me this week. I'm deep in the trenches of revising my novel for my editor. Six weeks ago, I had no idea what to expect from an editorial letter. I only knew it would force me to elevate my writing. Push me to bring my "A" game.

Here's what I'm learning about the A Game:

There are no short cuts. None. Sorry.

Prepare to answer to everything in your manuscript. Yes. Everything.

Prepare to revise the first line of each chapter. A lot.

Prepare to revise the last line of each chapter. A lot.

Prepare to revise everything in between. You know what I'm going to say here, right?

Be open to reimagining a whole character. Yes, an entire character.

Know the geography of your world or story. Especially if you are writing a journey/quest novel. Maps are good. Maps are really good.

Be able to answer where and when every single scene happens. Make friends with poster board and post it notes. Look at 3M as a partner corporation.

What are your characters wearing? How are they feeling? What do they want in every scene? What are the pictures you're painting for the reader in that scene? Know these things for every scene. Know them thoroughly for every scene. But these are obvious, right? Right?

Be aware of whether you're using a word too often. Weed those out. Vary your language. Vary your characters' dialogue. Vary gestures and images. Use all the senses. Vary vary vary unless you're using symbols or iconic images. Then pace pace pace so it's not too little and not too much. So it's just right. Got it?

Own it. This is your story. Wear it. Break it in. Know it like your own skin.

And when you get close... really close like I am now to checking these off, know that you've done your job. You've written a novel.


Thanks for this inside look into what an editor sees! I'm using this as a checklist for the next time I revise!

Excellent post! So true...being able to answer for *everything* in your manuscript. :-)

Hey - thanks for reading Heather and Robin. It's such a mammoth amount of work, but the truth is... and I should have added this above... you love it even more for working through it this way. It really does become "your baby." Happy writing to you both. May the words flow!

Excellent recap of the revision process! My editor asked me so many many questions about my world. It made it so much better!


Okay, I'm sufficiently intimidated...sigh...

Me too! Totally intimidated, but love your additional comment about it becoming more "your baby" as a result!

Keep going, V! You can do it!

Congratulations, V! And thank you for this recap of the revision process - a timely reminder. I shall pin it up on my whiteboard! :)
PS I do love your watercolour background, it's so beautiful.
PS Lia passed on your good news (all the way to Australia) lol

This is exactly what I needed to read right now. Love YA Muses--always helpful. Great going, V!

Thanks for the kind words, guys. Really appreciate you coming by the blog and your supportive comments! I sort of feel like I got more out of this post than you all did. Good thing it's free or I'd owe you guys your money back ; ) Happy writing! And revising!

What a wonderful gift this season. Your new revised book. I can hardly wait until your words get out to the rest of the world so we can all enjoy them.

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