1. Z. C. Bolger
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    Z. C. Bolger Member

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    Revisions And How You Do Them

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Z. C. Bolger, Apr 11, 2012.

    I am currently on my second revision of my first novel and I was wondering what you guys have found to be a successful way to do them.

    The way I am doing it is I print out a hard copy and read through it with a highlighter and a multi-colored pen, making notes wherever they are needed. Once I have finished the hard copy I then start from the beginning and transfer my notes to the computer doc. I find this makes it easier to tie in changes wherever they are needed without having the problem of fixing something and then coming across something later that would change the first revision.
     
  2. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I like to pick an item of focus. I might try to get rid of as many adverbs as possible during one round and make sure there is a sense of place in every scene during another.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what you're doing is what i consider the best of all methods, z...

    though i've only been using a red pen for decades, i may actually try what you do, as it sounds pretty workable...
     
  4. Z. C. Bolger
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    Z. C. Bolger Member

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    That's an interesting way to do it. I think I would probably do that as a second or third revision though. I use my first to make sure everything is tied together and all plot points are consistent.

    Mamma, the reason I found a highlighter so great is because I sometimes miss the small corrections if they are done just in pen. I use an orange highlighter as it stands out well on the page, much better than a yellow one.

    I also have a notebook handy to make longer notes in and instead of writing that on the manuscript I'll just highlight it a write "Note 20" which will indicate for me to check my notes when I go through the transfer process.
     
  5. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I often have so much to work on that I simply sit down and rewrite the whole thing from scratch, knowing already what the weaknesses are. Then in the next round I do more or less what people have already said, I check for one issue at the time, like adverbs, dialogue tags, exclamation marks, favorite words, etc etc. and finish with a SPAG check.
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I generally do my work all on computer. I read through once to correct obvious errors (SPaG, etc), then I start looking to tighten up wording. I might do a dozen passes before it's the way I want it.
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I do pretty much what Z said, but I do it on a session-by-session basis. Every time I sit down to write, I have a printout of the previous session's work (and usually more), and I go over that with a red pen, adding, changing, deleting, before I start with new material. It not only lets me make corrections, it gets me in the same mood, using the same voice and tone I left off with. That's important to me.

    I often use several pen colors and several highlighter colors. I print out on one side of the page only, and make notes and additions (almost always additions - I rarely delete until the whole draft is finished) on the back of the page.

    As I've said before, I often write by hand in a notebook, and when I do, I only write the text of the story on the right-hand page. I use the left-hand pages for notes and revisions.
     
  8. JackElliott
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    JackElliott Senior Member

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    I do my writing / creative endeavors in a little study, print out the ms. to be edited, sit on the couch in front of the tube with a pen and slash away. Big structural edits first, then down to the little stuff. I don't even bother with punctuation / misspellings until the final draft.
     
  9. Z. C. Bolger
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    Z. C. Bolger Member

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    That is very interesting and I can totally see how that could be beneficial. I might try implementing some of this for my next book.
     
  10. molly16
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    molly16 Member

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    I've never printed out my work to revise it. I go through my work in the document and go over in another color, then I go back and see what I said with "fresh eyes."

    Now, I think I'll try printing it out instead next time!
     
  11. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Revisions are the best time to grow as a writer. Identify one or two weaknesses in your writing, e.g. character development, dialogue, setting description/exposition, scene crafting, etc., and focus your attention on them in the rewrite. Similar to what Amy said, but more focused on broader writing craft issues. I often find I need to improve EVERYTHING, but that's overwhelming so I focus on one or two.
     

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