Imagination to Polished Manuscript, Part Four

This is what is commonly called the Revision Stage.  I call it the Slow Crawl.  Not quite as tedious as Editing, there are fun spots in it.  Nevertheless, not as much fun as initial story creation.  Each storyteller has their own strengths and weaknesses and so mileage may vary.  I am still learning, so I make no claims at knowing it all.


A great place to start your journey at developing your own way of polishing up manuscripts for publication is Fantasy author Holly Lisle’s website.  She has an article on how to Revise in One Pass.  I’ve been gleaning wisdom from it for years!  And still, I’m thinking it will take four passes through my present novella before its Revision is complete.  So, you know, Holly’s waaaay ahead of me!  Here’s the link-

One thing you may notice in Holly’s article is that she must cut words.  A lot of writers need to do that.  I am not one of them.  I am a writer who finishes the First Draft waaaay under my word count goal.  In fact, I increase my wordcount by at least a third in the Revision Stage.  This is because my 2nd Biggest Weakness (the first is structure which I fix in the first stage) is writing Descriptions.  So, basically, the first draft is a skeleton of the final draft.

I start this stage by writing a list in big letters of what I need to pay attention to and why and then I put it right in front of me while I’m working.  Yeah, I know these things in my head, but I am so Visual I need a list to look at while I’m working.  I can go through a whole novel and completely forget to name a major secondary character because of this.  I can see her in my visual imagination, so I just don’t think about the word.  I think in pictures.  I list the plot threads that need to be supported and concluded throughout the story.  Little things like, ‘Angel needs to fix her Uncle Fred’s truck by the end of this chapter.’  Did I name the dog?

It’s ridiculous, but I imagine we all feel ridiculous about our weaknesses.  That’s what this stage is about.  Fixing the mistakes and filling in the holes left by my weaknesses as a writer.  For me, it’s not more humiliating than battling dangling modifiers in the final stage, Editing, however.

Hey, it’s Friday!