We’ve all been there. We’ve struggled through writing our first draft. We make a pledge to revise the hell out of that novel and… you get stuck.
Maybe you don’t know where to start, or what to look for, or you just can’t get over the overwhelming pressure you’re currently giving yourself. Because you just finished writing the damn thing, and now you’ve got to do it all again?
You’re not the only one. In some ways, revising is a lot more difficult than writing. Because you have to read through all the crap you’ve just written in an attempt to magic it into novel gold.
Call me Rumplestiltskin.
The reason writers read is to learn by example. And it’s these examples which will help with your revision. Breaking down the monolith that is revision into smaller steps is the best and easiest way to power through. Take your time. Take it slow.
Start by reading one page. Just one page. Then write down what you liked and didn’t like about that page.
If (insert favourite author here,) had written this page, where would they have used their descriptive style? Would (insert favourite author here,) have applied a different method for this emotional scene? Would (insert favourite author here,) have gone more in depth about their world?
If you know you struggle with inner thought, follow the examples of authors who excel at it.
If you can’t describe something to save your life, think about an author who can.
Apply their strengths to your own writing. Don’t copy their style completely, but let them guide you until you’ve got the hang of how to improve the way you feel you need to. But take it slowly if you’re unsure. You’ll eventually get into the rhythm.
How do you tackle revision?
Good thoughts and happy writing.