Thursday, June 24, 2010

How I Became a Grown-Up and Learned to Revise

The key to revisions is feedback. Without it, you can only see so much. In the case of THE SORBET GUY, I got lots of wonderful, cheerleading feedback from readers who loved the story. But, I knew it was too short, and I knew there was a reason it wasn't grabbing the interest of any agents. Luckily, one agent gave me major editorial notes on the complete manuscript. Of course, that hurt, but he had a lot of good ideas.

With all of that information in mind, and having let the manuscript get some distance and maturity in an oak barrel (or, I didn't touch it for well over six months while I wrote another novel, revised a second, and started a third) I went back to it ready for some neutral assessment and adjustment.

Over the next few blogs, I'm going to discuss each stage of the process that I went through. For today, I'll just give you the rough outline.

1. I looked at the overall draft and flagged those areas that needed help.

2. I did rewrites and sent each chapter to two designated beta readers as I went along. One was a fabulous detail reader, who always took me to task on failure to show emotion and action. The other is unbeatable for big picture stuff.

3. If my betas found any issues that would affect the progress of the manuscript from that point, I paused to revise. Most of their suggestions, however, were stuffed back into that oak barrel to wait for my final draft.

4. Next, I created to-do list from all their suggestions, as well as my own thoughts.

5. Finally, I started back at beginning to do final draft.

So, we've got our work cut out for us as I go through this series. And when we're done, I'll talk about the querying process. Because I sincerely hope to be well into that stage by the time I finish telling all of you about this.

Hope you get something out of it!

- Liz


Kristan said...

Ooooo I'm looking forward to this! I've never been through this serious of a process myself, so it'll be great to see.

RikScott said...

Good stuff, Liz. I'll be watching with interest.

jasouders said...

Ah I'd love to see how you do this. I've gone through major rewrites, but it never comes out the way I want, I think I'm be paying special attention to these posts. :D

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