Sooz’s Guide to Revisions

First Readers, Revising, & Publication

CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who not only won NaNoWriMo but who made ANY progress this month. I finished with 32,000 new words, and I’m really proud of that progress! New words are always better than no words at all. 😉

To wrap up NaNoWriMo and to help all of you forge onward with your new manuscripts, I wanted to share all the posts I’ve ever written about revising a novel, finding a literary agent, and getting traditionally published.
 

FirstReaders

 

Revising Your Novel

 
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First Readers

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How to Get Published

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Finding Literary Agents

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LTWF: On the Art of REwriting

It’s NaNoWriMo month.

In other words, it is currently hell-on-earth for many writers around the globe. A self-induced hell that anyone who isn’t participating in just CAN’T UNDERSTAND.

Yes, we clearly enjoy torture, but no, we are not insane. (Though, ask again in 3 weeks…)

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to soothe the minds of worried first-drafters. Everyone will tell you this (including Vahini, here on LTWF), and all I can do is reiterate:

It is okay to write crappy first draft.

In fact, we’re all expecting you too…because so will we.

And, if I’m REALLY HONEST with you, then I’ll just go ahead and share a little secret:

I’m a really bad writer.

Like, downright dreadful. (Read more…)

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Sooz’s Guide to Revisions, Lesson 6: Typing in your changes and feeling GOOD.

Wow.  You did it. You finished Lesson 5, and now you’re almost at the end!  Can you FEEL THE EXCITEMENT?

This lesson will be (compared to the others) a piece of cake.  The first part is completely mindless.

Supplies Needed Today:

  • A computer
  • Your revised, scrawled-upon manuscript
  • A comfy chair (Read more…)

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Sooz’s Guide to Revisions, Lesson 5: Writing in your changes.

You might be a little worn out from Lesson 4.  No worries–take a break.  Give yourself some time.  It’s always good to get distance between you and your novel.

Now, I realize that not everyone will print out their novel, and I know not everyone will revise by hand.  That’s fine.  Do what you do, but know that I’m writing this lesson as if you had printed it.

Supplies Needed Today:

  • your printed manuscript
  • your colorful Perfect Book outline
  • your fan letter to yourself
  • your Perfect Book worksheets (just have them handy)
  • paper clips (Read more…)

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Sooz’s Guide to Revisions, Lesson 4: Planning the attack.

So, you figured out what your Perfect Book would be in Lesson 3.  Now we’re going to take that and apply it to your novel.

This part is fun–like, no joke, this step is one of my favorites for the ENTIRE novel-writing process.  You’re calling on your left-brain for organization, and you’re calling on your right-brain for creativity.

Plus, by creating this Plan of Attack, you are ensuring you get through revisions as quickly as you possibly can. There’s a reason I meet all my editorial deadlines early, and this is it.

Supplies Needed Today:

  • Your outline (either in index cards or printed/written out)
  • Multicolored post-its or sticky-tabs (as I mentioned in Lesson 1, I color-code everything)
  • Your Plot Holes worksheet
  • Your fan letter to yourself
  • Your Perfect Book worksheets
  • Your Other Problems worksheets (Read more…)

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Sooz’s Guide to Revisions, Lesson 3: Dreaming up the perfect book.

PerfectBookSo, for the sake of this lesson, I’ll assume you’ve finished your outline in Lesson 2.  If you haven’t finished, no worries!  Come back here when you’re ready.

Today we’re taking a tip from Holly Lisle, the Queen of Revisions.  She calls it “Setting your Target” because how can you expect to hit a target that you can’t see?  According to Lisle (whose expensive but life-changing workshop, How to Revise your Novel, I recommend to everyone), if we don’t set our goals before we start revisions, we’ll be revising aimlessly.

Um, she’s right. I’ve done it–it wasn’t pretty. As such, I learned this step from her, and now apply it faithfully to my own revisions method every single time I revise.

Supplies Needed Today:

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Sooz’s Guide to Revisions, Lesson 2: Let’s get organized.

When you finish Lesson 1 (don’t worry if it takes a while!), your next objective will be to make an outline.  Outlines help you see the WHOLE BOOK in a single glance–er…in a glance or two.

Being able to quickly isolate scenes and segments without flipping through the whole novel will save you time. LOTS of time.  I promise–once you start outlining before revisions, you will never go back!

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Sooz’s Guide to Revisions, Lesson 1: What the heck did you write?

BigPictureProbsIf you saw the post on Wednesday, then you know where we’re heading with revisions. First, we have to make revision goals. To do that, we have to establish what you WANT to have when you finish revising. But to do that, you have to first know what you ACTUALLY have.

We’re going to figure this out by reading our novel and making note of big picture problems.  Big picture problems include anything that require more than just a sentence tweak or dialogue-tightening.  These are the pieces of the novel that tell the story–the skeleton and muscle of your book. (Read more…)

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LTWF: Tackling Revisions

Note: I am starting a “Revisions Workshop” on the blog that will basically outline How I Revise.  There will be worksheets, and it will be go in what I hope is an orderly fashion. Today will be the Introduction, and Friday will be Lesson 1.

🙂 ♥

The purpose of this post (and my revisions workshop over the next week) is to help other writers avoid feeling overwhelmed, daunted, or just plain lost. I’m offering a starting point for you to bounce off of; I’m showing you how I avoid feeling overwhelmed, daunted, and lost; and I’m hoping you can use this info to ultimately find your own revising rhythm.

Please realize that while this method works for me, but it may not work for you. There is no “perfect solution” to writing or revising, and it’s up to you to fine-tune your own approach. Now let’s get started, shall we? (Read more…)

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