Deep Revisions in Four Steps
by Janice Seagraves
1. Read your manuscript like a reader. Print out, or load your manuscript into a reading device, and don’t forget to change the font. Don’t skip this part as it very important to the overall revision process. This exercise never fails to surprise me on how I don’t actually see the whole picture when I write my stories.
2. Take notes: As you read through your manuscript, keep a pad handy and take notes as you read. Something like in ch. 2 I have June with blue eyes and in ch. 5 I have her with green eyes. Keep it simple so your not pulled out of your read through.
3. Write what happens in each chapter: Do this after your read though, not during. This is a hard exercise and it always takes me a while to complete it, but one I’ve found to be very valuable in deciding which scenes to cut and which to expand on. It also can help you when you submit your work later on, as some editors want a chapter by chapter break down of your manuscript.
4. Write out a character list with good and bad flaws/habits: This exercise can be very helpful and I’ve always enjoy it. All your characters should have good and bad qualities to them. No one likes to read about a perfect character who never makes any mistakes. Flaws make your character more human, and your reader will sympathize with your characters too.