1. GlitterRain7

    GlitterRain7 Galaxy Girl Contributor

    Jun 24, 2017
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    How do you know when you've done enough revision?

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by GlitterRain7, Apr 4, 2018.

    I finished my first round of revision for my manuscript. It took about a week. Is it possible that that's as much revision as I can do at the moment until I get beta readers to give me more insight, or do I need to go back for another round?
    Does anyone else do a round of revision and then give it to a beta reader? Or do you go through several rounds of revision before you let a beta reader see it? If you do a bunch of rounds of revision, how to you make them useful? I imagine that if I go through my manuscript again without any sort of advice, I'm going to be okay with it all because I did the changes that it needed in the first revision.
    I'm just really not sure what to do next.
  2. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

    Aug 8, 2015
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    If I spend 3 hours a day, it takes me 2 months to revise the first draft of an 80k word document at my current skill level. A second revision is much faster, maybe a couple of weeks. In either case, I'm sure I spend more hours revising than writing.

    I personally want to make it as good as I can before I send it out for beta readers, to entertain / respect them.
    deadrats likes this.
  3. TheRealStegblob

    TheRealStegblob Kill All Mages Contributor

    Mar 16, 2016
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    Well, you can always revise your work without end. At a certain point you'll reach a point where your work meets or exceeds general standards for quality and at that point (get the point?), revising further is just nitpicking or changing things because you decide "o fuk my original idea was stupid i have to change it now" on a whim.

    There's no hard end to revising something. Get it to a state you believe is the best you can make it and is as flaw-free as you can see and then go from there. Don't stress over how many revisions you've made or how long they took you.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
    GlitterRain7 likes this.
  4. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

    Jun 3, 2015
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    SC, USA
    I revise until I think I've done all I can. I go through it, lay out the problems, figure out how to fix them, do that, go through it again. Repeat until, as far as I can see, it's okay. Then I might find betas or I might shop it around -- or file it away to sit for a while until I come back to it with fresh eyes and find more problems.

    Basically, I don't think you should revise just for the sake of revising. You're just tinkering at that point. You can keep changing stuff, sure, but if you're not making it better then it's kinda fruitless.

    You finished your MS alike couple weeks ago, right? So, when I was writing my novel, I scribbled down stuff as I went that I knew was going to be problematic later on, and once I finished it, I re-read the entire thing and wrote down more to-fix items -- inconsistencies, plot-holes, weak points, whatever. Then I fixed what I could with spot re-writes. It probably took me about a week, week and a half maybe, because those were the problems I was immediately aware of and immediately knew how to make better. But they absolutely weren't all the problems the manuscript had, and a year later I'm still working on it, because as times goes on I think of ways to make it stronger. Now I have had betas for this project, whose advice I've also incorporated, but the point is that I continue to personally see ways to improve it, given time and distance.

    Clearly it's hard to know when it's 'done' but when you've stopped seeing things to tangibly fix/improve, I think that's when you're done with revision. Even if it's just for a while -- if you think it's perfect, sit it aside for a bit and see if you still think that when you come back to it.
    GlitterRain7 and BayView like this.
  5. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Sep 6, 2014
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    I agree with @izzybot - if you don't see anything else to improve, then you're done, at least for now.

    I wouldn't say you're PERMANENTLY done revising until it's either published or you've given up on it.
    GlitterRain7 likes this.
  6. Youssef Salameh

    Youssef Salameh Senior Member

    Oct 11, 2012
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    I believe its all about talent and practice. Still, a writer needs his work be revised and read by experienced writers, especially people who he/she trusts.
    Yes, a writer should take critique into consideration, and gradually he/she becomes better. I always suggest that one's work be revised thoroughly.

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