Sunday, May 15, 2011

Revision tips from the trenches - via Noveltee(n)

So, I'm in the middle of revising Aillea's Cards and I thought I'd share some of the revision tips that have really helped me improve my manuscript. This post is originally from Noveltee(n), the collaborative teen blog where I post on Thursdays, but since it's applicable to all writers I thought I'd paste it here.

Prose writing is generally made up of three different components: action, internal thought, and dialogue. These aspects should balance each other out, with approximately the same amount of each in the manuscript as a whole. Too much internal thought slows the pace, whereas too much action or dialogue can become rather repetitive. Finding the correct balance is essential to story pacing.

Here are some tips:

~Highlighters are your friend! Choose a different color for each of these three components, and then go through your manuscript and block out sections according to their primary focus. This will provide a visual to help you see where your strengths are....too much dialogue? Maybe your action scenes drag on for pages and pages, without any breaks for internal thought or conversation. Skim through your manuscript to see where you can cut back.

~Print out a version of your manuscript. Trust me, looking at it on paper is different than reading it on a computer. If you don't want to use all that ink, try changing the font to something completely different, which will allow you to look at the story with fresh eyes. After reading through a manuscript multiple times you tend to unintentionally skim certain sections. A new font forces you to focus.

~Make a list of revision changes. Divide the list into two sections: changes that permeate the entire manuscript, and those that apply only to a specific scene or chapter. From there, divide the specific changes into groups based on the section of the manuscript in which they occur (I usually create four groups total). Tackle specific changes first, then do a read-through of the entire story while fixing problems that come into play at multiple points.

Anyways, I hope this helped! Now I'm off to revise....I need to finish this manuscript ASAP!

1 comment:

  1. Great tips Kate! How are the revisions coming?