Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The many joys of revising

Tip of the Day: want an interesting quick read? Check out this list of things from a 1911 The Ladies’ Home Journal on what they think life would be like in 100 years.

Revising is never fun, and it seems to be an ongoing learning process on discovering the best way for me to revise a current work-in-progress.

Currently, I'm working on revising based on feedback on the book, so I’m going about stuff a bit differently.

Here's what I've done:

  • Printed out the feedback and made a bulleted list of the main items that need work to keep by me as I read through the book.
  • Read through a printed-out version of the manuscript and made notes throughout. I rarely print out my manuscripts, but I wanted to be able to quickly go back and forth between chapters to make notes on things once an idea came to me. To make this even easier I printed out two pages per sheet and single spaced. Not only did it save paper and the small text made me read more carefully, but it made it super easy to find chapters I wanted to mark-up after the fact.
  • Kept a notebook beside me as a read through the manuscript to jot down larger items that I came up with to change. Some people use post it notes, but considering my desk at work is cluttered with about 20 post it notes at a time, I was trying to organize that clutter into one paper list to make it easier on me.
  • Then I’ve just been going through page-by-page to make edits and change things that need work.
  • As I'm editing on the page, I keep open multiple versions of the manuscript, so it's easier for me to move things around. I recently purchased a new computer and got two monitors with it that makes this super easy!
And of course lots of chocolate and long hot baths have been in order before or after revising.
Any tricks on revision you’d like to share?

Do you think you revise different for every book? Or is that just me?

Happy Editing everyone.

Emily, Miss Revise-a-maniac


Kate Fall said...

Emily, I don't think I could ever master the two monitor method. I like the idea of printing the manuscript half-sized though. Good luck and don't forget to reward yourself with candy.

Megg Jensen said...

Girl, I am all about the hot baths too. Can't live without them. :D

DeenaML said...

Ah, you are sounding super thorough! Can't wait to see the finished product!

Melissa Sugar said...

I am taking Holy Lisle's "How To Revise Your Novel" workshop. It is brutal, but from what I have heard it is well worth it. Thanks for sharing your revision process.

I am a new follower.

DeenaML said...

Welcome, Melissa!
And I just got my copy of editor Cheryl Klein's revision book. Can't wait to read through it!