Here are some of the things I’m doing or thinking about:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Is there anything in summary that I could show?
- Could this information be better conveyed in dialog?
- Have I appealed to all five senses?
- Have I slowed down scary scenes (as opposed to speeding them up)? Slowing down is actually more suspenseful in a tense scene.
- I will spend the most time on the last third of the book, which hasn’t been as polished as the first few pages.
- 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?