How Do I Revise Thee? Let Me Count The Ways…

Blogging has been (and will probably continue to be) spotty this month, because I am revising the draft of my NEW NOVEL–a sequel to The Illuminator’s Gift!

So, in one of my brief appearances above ground, I’ll give you a quick, behind-the-scenes tour of my revision process.

It starts with my stellar team of test readers, who critique confidential advance copies of the manuscript. These amazing people are kind of like FBI agents, only with better punctuation.

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I pore over their comments for hours.

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Then, using all 3 cells from the left side of my brain, I consolidate their comments into a spreadsheet. I look for patterns and common themes.

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Using the comments, I map out a revision plan, using color-coded post-it notes for different sections of the book. Yet another reason I love office supplies.

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Then it’s back to the drawing board–simultaneously the most rewarding and most grueling part of the revision process. Just when I’ve finished writing a whole book, I have to write some more. But on the other hand, I get to write some more (longhand, of course), which is my favorite thing. It’s like having a play date with my characters.

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Then it’s time to type up what I’ve written, editing as I go. I go over the entire manuscript, paying attention to skipped words and long sentences as well as overall structure and flow, trying to make every scene fit seamlessly with the others. (Sneaky writer tip: it’s way easier to write a good beginning when you’ve already written the end.)

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Sometimes revision seems like a neverending process, gobbling up hours and hours and hours on end. But just when I think I can’t keep going…

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…ice cream makes all sorts of things happen.

If you’re a teacher or homeschool group coordinator located in the SF Bay Area, I talk about things like the revision process in my classroom visits! If you’re interested in scheduling a visit, send me an e-mail

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