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  • lizhenderson28

My (Current) Revision Process

My current project is the first and only that I've ever revised. Besides fixing little typos in other projects, I've never moved stuff around, or reworded sentences, or done any of the true revision things. So I'm still figuring out what works for me. Doing a bunch of passes seems to be what's working, though the slowness of it is a bit annoying. A few years ago, I heard about a one-pass editing system. Now that I know better, I laugh at little naive me for thinking that would work.

I've done a bit of research into other people's revision process and gleaned what I think will work for me. Someone people say to read the manuscript in hard copy form so your brain will catch more things. For my first major revision pass, I did print out my manuscript on my printer. (There was a jam and lots of paper was wasted, but that's a different story.) That pass of revisions felt twice as long because after I made my notes, I had to implement them on my laptop. Some of the intervening passes, I did the revisions directly on the computer to save some time. For this pass, I'm using my proof copy, because I have it. I don't know if I'll have any concrete evidence if I'll catch more mistakes that way.

One thing I've found when I'm revising is I tend to get sucked into my own story and not pay quite enough attention to pick out what needs to be fixed. Having notes helps with this a lot so I know what I'm looking for. But with the last chapter I revised, I was halfway through before I remembered to look at my notes.

A piece of advice I've found isn't working for me is using different pen colours for different things. In theory, it sounds like a good idea, that's why I tried it. But in practicality, I have to remember which colour is for which thing, and then have to switch pens if I don't have the right one in my hand. At the end of the day, a note is a note and I don't care if it's plot, character or setting related.

It's been well over a year since I started revising this story. There were a few breaks in there that lasted a few months, but the fact that this is dragging on is a bit discouraging. Hopefully, when I revise my next story, I'll have nailed down a bit of my process and things will go a bit smoother. In the meantime, I'll keep slogging through this pass of revisions and hope I catch almost all the major things that need to be changed.

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