Back in February I talked about how I planned to do my first lot of revisions once I finished the first draft of my manuscript. Now I have finished those initial revisions, I am now doing more revisions (does it ever end !) so I thought I would dedicate a post to what my focus is in this part of the revision process. First a brief recap of what I did for my first lot of revisions.
FIRST ROUND REVISIONS
Main focus: Structure and technical elements
1. Listen to chapter read aloud on ywriter and highlight flaws.
2. Read chapter, fix spelling and grammar and make additional notes.
3. Go back over highlighted parts of text and rewrite (highlighted parts generally indicate telling rather than showing and awkward phrasing)
4. Read aloud chapter to myself and fix anything else that stands out.
SECOND ROUND REVISIONS
Main focus: Tightening manuscript and fixing plot flaws
1. Delete all unnecessary words, descriptions and anything not relevant to the plot. This includes getting rid of words like ‘that’ and backstory that contributes nothing to the plot. I also deleted the entire prologue.
2. Make a list of plot holes then go back and fix them.
3. Rewrite beginning (multiple times) until it hooks the reader.
4. Raise the stakes! Delete anything boring and add more conflict.
5. Restructure chapter breaks. Instead of ending chapters at mundane natural breaks (like falling asleep at the end of one chapter and waking up the next morning at the start of the following chapter) use chapter breaks in high-tension places to hook the reader into the next chapter.
6. Create more natural dialogue between characters.
7. Work with critique partner to pinpoint flaws I have overlooked and to see what impressions a reader would have of the manuscript in its current state.
What do you do when you revise? Do you follow a similar structure or do you revise in a completely different way?