It is done. Finished. Complete. 80,000 words, 261 pages. I am not so naïve as to think that I will never revise it again, because I am sure after a month or so, I will tackle it once more. It does feel good though.
The last step I took in the revision process taught me more than anything so far. I learned the trick from Stephen King. (I’ve learned a lot from him as anyone who has read more than one post would know.) He said to read the whole thing, start to finish, making notes and marking corrections. Then go back and make all of those corrections.
Previously, I would print out a chapter, mark it up, and then revise. Chapter by chapter, sometimes having to reread the chapter 3-5 times, over and over until I had it right. I don’t think this was a bad plan, and I am glad that I did it.
Once I had the whole thing as shiny as I thought it could be, I then took Mr. King’s advice. I plan to replant all the trees that I have killed in the process, but I have a hard time using the editorial side of my brain on screen. My creative side tends to shine there. (This may be just me.) I took the entire 261 pages to Kinkos, and had them spiral bind it. Which is a nice experience in and of itself. It cost $6, and allowed me to carry it with me without worrying about pages getting shuffled, dropped, or misplaced. Plus, holding a spiral bound copy of your work feels so rewarding. Sometimes you forget that you actually wrote a book.
I went through and read the whole thing. I was able to catch where I repeated themes, check the pace of the novel, and see for myself what the reader would feel. Did I get bored part way through it? Did I feel like I needed a break from the adventure/excitement? Were the love scenes spaced evenly apart? These are things I wouldn’t have caught before, because of the way that I was revising.
What are some of your tricks and techniques for revising?
Also, to celebrate this next step – I wanted to give you something fun. Enjoy!