Yesterday was my first day in the trenches of revision. It’s been awhile since I’ve made a definite plan for revision – mostly because I tend to get overwhelmed by the big picture. But this time, I broke the process down into a series of steps, and it’s looking like it’ll be a bit easier that way.
I’m using a mixture of tips from Robert J. Ray’s The Weekend Novelist Rewrites the Novel and Holly Lisle’s One-Pass Manuscript Revision, plus some other strategies I’ve used before that have worked in the past.
In the first day of revision, I’ve already realized a few things:
1. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. When this happens, try to focus on one thing at a time.
2. If a new idea comes up in the middle of the process, write it down immediately. Keep a pen and notebook handy.
3. First drafts suck. As I read through mine, I was rolling my eyes at the horrible dialogue, cardboard characterization, and mixed metaphors. Keep in mind that you can fix all this stuff.
4. Staying organized is a must. Try to get all your stuff together (paper, pens, notebook, helpful books, printed drafts, sticky notes, page flags, whatever else you need) before you actually start. This makes everything so much easier.
5. If you can, try to work away from the computer so distraction and procrastination don’t take over. Print out everything you think you’ll need, shut down the computer, and walk away from it. If you come across something you need to look up on the Internet, write it down, then look it up later.
Now I shall move on to day 2 of revision! 🙂