aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

How I revise

file0002123467586I am feverishly working on a revision of a book that is due January 31. This is the start of a new series, so it needs to hook readers and keep them.

Here are some of the things I’m doing or thinking about:

  1. If I had time, I would let the book sit. Nothing like weeks (or even better, months) to give you the distance you need to see your work clearly.
  2. I asked a couple of people to look it over. I knew one of the problems was pacing, so I asked them to especially think about that.
  3. Since there are multiple points of view, I'm reading all of one character’s sections one right after another to make sure the voice stays the same.
  4. Is there anything in summary that I could show?
  5. Could this information be better conveyed in dialog?
  6. Have I appealed to all five senses?
  7. Have I slowed down scary scenes (as opposed to speeding them up)? Slowing down is actually more suspenseful in a tense scene.
  8. I will spend the most time on the last third of the book, which hasn’t been as polished as the first few pages.
  9. Looking at each chapter, I'm asking:
  • What is the exciting thing that happens?
  • Are there any surprises?
  • Is the character in any type of danger?
  • How can I tighten it? Ideally, how can I get the chapter under (well under) 2000 words?
  • Does the chapter end on a cliff hanger?

If you’re a writer, what kind of things do you do when you’re revising?

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Tags: revising, writing

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