Internet Universe I welcome you to another blog.
Before I get into talking about our subject for today, I want to thank everyone for their support and the new followers I have received. I greatly appreciate all of you!
Now on to business.
You can Google how to Revise and Correct a first draft for a novel and get over one million hits. Do you really want to go through all of that trouble to read what works for everyone else, but simply can’t find anything that will work for you? I’ve done it, and it is very unpleasant by the end of it, to be honest. I’ve tried four or five different ways to revise my books. And until I read the Myth of A Crappy First Draft, I was lost because not a single one of the methods worked for me.
Mindee Arnett put it quite bluntly and exquisitely. “As with any writing advice ever given, the only truth is this: Find what works for YOU and stick with it.” That’s just it. One method may not work for you but if you add and take away from the method(s) to make it more suitable for you, it will work. Everything can be changed later on and it may take six months, six years, or sixty. What matters is: Are you happy with your novel? Like most writers, however, we are artists, and we are never happy with our work. In fact, we probably hate it and keep wanting to tweak it. If we spent our lives constantly tweaking for the perfect story then we’d never finish a single book. Nothing is perfect, but you still need to know that what you’ve done is an accomplishment.
This doesn’t mean say, oh I don’t know, skip the revisions? No, absolutely do not! You have to clean up the loose ends and inconsistencies.
Best foot forward is always the best advice for a first impression, so why would you give a publisher an unfinished copy of your novel? Unfinished meaning, doesn’t have beginning, middle, end etc, and doesn’t have the necessary revisions.
After all I’ve read, and what works for me. The best bet, I personally believe, is first to work on typos and grammar. I suggest that first because I absolutely detest it, thus making the rest of the process quicker and easier to get by. After the grammar and such is fixed, I look to fix anymore content errors and look to see if there needs to be any changes.
I understand it sounds tedious and you’re wondering why you would ever want to do that. I’ve thought it too. But I also know is that it is needed. Do any method you would like, just make sure it works for you.
When finished with any context errors, I begin the biggest battle. The official rewrite (#1). I work from front and back going through all of the notes I’ve written to work through the entirety of the novel for the fourth time.
My most favorite part is what happens when I do finish my rewrite, (after which checking grammar and typos again) I find people to whom are willing to read through and give me their opinions (the harsher the better.) Once that’s completed, I take their advice and begin another rewrite or at the very best just a little tweaking. But not always should you take everyone’s opinions. Keep in mind, it’s your novel not there’s. So if you do not agree with the changes (not being stubborn or conceited mind you but really disagree because of how much the entirety would change), do not change it. Maybe just give a couple good tweaks.
Then go over the novel one more time and see how it appeals to you, as a reader and not it’s creator. If necessary, take some time away from the novel and proceed with new projects before you complete it.
If you’re happy with the completion, send it to another group of readers, but keep in mind to remain positive by knowing of their want to make you, and your novel better for those who are equipped to read it when it’s on the shelves.
Once the next set of readers return with their thoughts, make necessary tweaks and revisions. Final count: As many as needed.
Once you are confident with the story, it is recommended to deliver the manuscript to a professional editor then fix any tweaks they have requested. After all of these steps, you are ready to send the book to the publisher.
Hope this helps and good luck to you!