Blog Chain Time: The Art of Revising

Happy Monday Everyone. It’s Blog Chain time again. But before I get to that, I have a couple little announcements. First, please check here for the winner of the TMAS contest last week. And secondly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEETIE to my 14-yr-old.

Okay – now, the blog chain. Today’s question was started by Sarah who asked:

How do you handle revisions? Do you revise as you’re writing, or do you wait until you’ve gone through beta readers and crit partners to revise? How soon after you finish do you begin your revisions?

I’ve loved reading about everyone’s process on this one. For me the question is particularly poignant as I have been swimming in a sea of revisions over the last few weeks or so…

  • Final edits on Emotional Intensity, and
  • A huge revision of A BEAUTIFUL MESS

Like Sandra before me, I edit/revise as I go when crafting the first draft. I always read the proceeding 15 pages or so, just to get into the “voice” of the story, changing a few things here or there. I also get feedback as I am writing that first draft. I may revise based on that too.

Once the entire novel is written, my draft is more like a four or fifth draft than a first. I let it sit for a few days (or weeks) and then jump into bigger edits. I look at the story arc, character arcs, emotional content. I check the various sub-plots – makes sure everything works and ties together well (despite my outlining, the characters do tend to run amuck with things from time to time). Finally, after these things are done, I do a line edit.

Then it sits again.

After a week or so, I print it, read it, make whatever changes I need to and send it to my readers. After I incorporate their suggestions, it gets one more read through before I send it off.

This timeline is spend up for my editor changes, but the process is generally the same.

Revisions are an art form to me. It’s the time when the story moves from merely a good tale, to a good read (hopefully). Layer and layer is pulled back, polished, until finally…

the story shines.

That’s my process…what’s yours?

For more revision tales, visit Sandra who posted yesterday and Michelle H who posts tomorrow.

12 thoughts on “Blog Chain Time: The Art of Revising

  1. I go through pretty much the same process as you Christine. I don’t sent it out to anyone until I happy with it. The process for my new wip will be different since my crit group broke up, but generally, I get feedback from one or two individuals first, revise, then send it to the next person. I’ll probably find another crit partner (or two) for the new book, but I’d rather wait until I’m ready. I’m not interested in a group where you submit as you write. Even with an outline, things might be changed during later drafts.

    PS. Are you still planning to pop into the SCBWI conference this week.😉

  2. Gosh, I really thought I’d commented on this post already. I know I’ve read it before now…hmm. In any case, I’m like you in that by the time I reach the end of a first draft, it’s actually more like a fourth/fifth draft. However, i can’t let a manuscript sit for you long before working on revisions. I like to “giterdun,” if you will.

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