How I Revise and Edit

Revising and editing is sort of a weakness of mine.

A weakness in that I get so into it, I forget to actually write my novel. I’m not sure if I have a particularly effective revision strategy or if there’s something I could be doing to make it better, so in this post (as with all others) I welcome suggestions and personal experiences in the comments.

Without further ado, here is how I edit my writing:

  1. Almost immediately after writing, I look back over for typos, repetitive words, grammatical errors and other malarky.
  2. I don’t look at it again until some point at least a day later, after having gotten a night’s sleep.
  3. Read over again for further fuckery. Once I am satisfied my writing is pristine and without typographical error (spoiler: it’s not. it never is.), it’s time to get down and dirty.
  4. I read it out loud, or worse better yet, force someone else to do it. They’ll hesitate or fumble whenever I’ve written something idiotic, and I’ll know to change it. If I am too afraid to have someone else read it, I use an app on my phone to record myself reading it aloud. Hearing it is a lot different from reading it, and I’ll notice things I hadn’t before.
  5. Let it sit another day.
  6. Read it again.
  7. At this point, I despise it. Whatever it is, it has to be the absolute worst drivel ever to be foisted upon the eyes of man. Whatever. I submit it for a critique.
  8. Someone liked it? Fuck yes. I am awesome.
  9. Another like? And another, with minimal corrections/suggestions? I am basically Charles Dickens.
  10. What does this douchecanoe mean that sentence isn’t working for him? …No, he’s probably right. It sucks. I should stop offending people with my horrible writing.
  11. All done! Now I work on the next chapter until I am suddenly and inexplicably driven to start over from chapter one because surely this time it will be perfection.

 

 

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