I'm about to embark on revisions prior to turning in my second manuscript (tentatively named Chameleon) to my editor on April 5th. I'd really like to do my very best on this so that there is not so much to face when the macro-edit comes back to me. Chameleon is my second book in the Ravensmoore Chronicle series that will release in January of next year if all goes according to plan.
First, I'm one of those writers that could revise for a VERY long time. I don't like to call myself a perfectionist because I don't think I'm anywhere close to being perfect in my revisions, but I do want to improve each time I turn in a book. So here's my plan.
- Print out the entire novel.
2. Read the entire book.
I try to do a quick read through to get a feel for the flow of the story. I'll mark up the manuscript as I go along and catch errors, but this first read through isn't so much of looking for errors as getting my first real complete feel of the book.
3. Read the book again/Ask Questions.
This time I'm reading for errors. I'll also start rounding off the ends of chapters and doing my best to be certain those chapter hooks are strong enough to make the reader keep reading. And I'm going to try something different at this phase in the process because I liked the questions. Jordan Dane over at the Killzone did the crit on this one page Dead Girl Vistits TKZ. It Could Happen Be warned, this one page was too graphic and ghory for me. If you don't want to read it just skip to the questions Jordan leaves for the writer to answer.
4. Completion of the style guide.
Honestly, I never knew what a style guide was until I got back my first substantive edit on my first book. My publisher supplied a list of preferences for use of words, punctuation, etc. They also wanted me to make a list of what characters show up in the novel in order of appearance. A brief description of each chapter and other important issues. A timeline was one of those. So I'll be looking closely at this and completing it to the best of my ability this time. Live and learn.
5. Set the book aside.
Now I'll look at the feedback from my critique partners to make any last and necessary changes.
When I'm through all these steps I'll turn it into my editor and see what comes back. Hopefully, it won't be another rigorous revision. But even if it is, then I dive right into it.
I hope this helps you a little bit. Remember that I'm still learning as I go along and I sure don't have all the answers. This is working for me now, but I sure would love to be a faster writer so I'd have more time to revise. Lucky for me, I've got a wonderful publishing house, Charisma House. They really do know how to support a writer.