Friday, January 27, 2017

Revision Shouldn't be Endless

by Rebecca Talley  @rebeccatalley
Indie Author Hub Member

For some writers, the word revision makes them squirm.

Many novice writers go into the writing process fantasizing that they will only have to write one draft of their novel. Perhaps they envision themselves sitting next to an open window, ocean breeze wafting gently through the fragrant air, sipping an exotic drink, while their muse easily supplies them with perfect sentences and a flawless plot.

Isn’t that how it works? Hardly.

Writing is work. Getting a first draft down on paper takes time, thought, energy, and persistence. But, once that first draft is finished, the real work begins.

Revising a manuscript can be grueling. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart. However, here are some tips when revising:

Print out your manuscript and read it as a hard copy. It’s easy to skip mistakes on a computer screen. On paper, with a pen in hand, it’s easier to spot misspellings, awkward sentences, and plot holes.

While reading your hard copy, be sure to mark it up. Rewrite sentences, cross out sections that don’t support your plot in some way, add in characterization, spice up the dialogue.

Revise the entire manuscript before making the changes on your computer file. You want to go through the whole story and make sure that it all works before you start making any changes. By the end of the process, you should barely recognize your manuscript.

Once you’ve completed this process, go back to your file and input all the corrections. Do not be tempted to make more corrections at this point. If you feel that you need to make some changes, go back to the hard copy and work them out on paper before you transcribe them to the computer.

You don’t have to make endless passes over your manuscript. Being a writer means you finish projects. You write a book and then you write another one and another one. Don’t waste time endlessly revising one manuscript. If you feel that you don’t know how to improve it anymore, think about hiring a professional editor with reputable references.

The point is, don’t spend the rest of your life revising a single manuscript. Write the first draft, go through it word by word making it the best you can, and then get it submitted. That’s how you become an author.

Rebecca grew up next to the ocean in Santa Barbara, California. She spent her youth at the beach collecting sea shells and building sandcastles. She graduated from high school and left for college, where she met and married her sweetheart, Del.

Del and Rebecca are the sometimes frazzled, but always grateful, parents of ten wildly-creative and multi-talented children and the grandparents of the most adorable little girls in the universe.

After spending nineteen years in rural Colorado with horses, cows, sheep, goats, rabbits, and donkeys, Rebecca and her family moved to a suburb of Houston, Texas, where she spends most of her time in the pool trying to avoid the heat and humidity. When she isn't in the pool, she loves to date her husband, play with her kids, swim in the ocean, redecorate her house, and dance to disco music while she cleans the house.

Rebecca has always loved to write and has authored novels, stories for print and online magazines, and children's books. She now focuses on writing romance because she believes everyone deserves their happily-ever-after.

You can find Rebecca on her website, her author page on FaceBook, and on Twitter at @rebeccatalley.

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