A writer’s notes on revision

Novice writers often think that when they finish the first draft of a novel, “revision” will mean spell-checking. Or, at a maximum, “cleaning up” a few odds and ends. They couldn’t be more wrong. Frequently, revision means a deep, thorough rewrite. This requires that the author step back and analyze the manuscript: give it an editorial MRI and psychoanalyze the thing.

To see what an experienced author does before rewriting, take a look at Jeff VanderMeer’s “High Level Notes After Completing First Draft.”

3 responses to “A writer’s notes on revision

  1. My 110-page vampire novella is finished but the editing is not. Right now I got eight inches of previous drafts sitting in the filing cabinet. One more round of editing should do the trick.

    The rough draft of my first novel will be 700 pages when I’m done. I’m not editing that. A detailed outline will be created from the rough draft for a hopefully shorter, more realized first draft that I’m writing from a blank word processor file.

    The joys of being a writer. :P

  2. C.D., it’s called job security, right? And in this dreadful economy, we can be happy with the fact that work awaits us until we die. (Okay, so there are other ways to look at that, but I’m feeling positive today!)

  3. Snart, My regular non-writing full time job will be coming to an end in two weeks with no guarantee that I will be placed somewhere else. I’ll soon have a lot more writing time. If I was being paid to write, that would be nicer.

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