Monday, February 9, 2015

Advice For Writers #23: How to Revise Your First Draft Part 3

Part 2 is here.

So two weeks ago, I talked about beta readers. It is the second step of revising. As I'd said before, beta readers will open your eyes a bit more. Be careful not to pick those who care more about your feelings than your work. After all, they might sugarcoat the critique. And don't pick your enemies. They are not the most pleasant lot. 

So, what is going on now? What is the third part of revising? Well, that would be getting all of the beta reader's comments and thoughts together. If two or more beta readers have the same thought/comment, then there is most likely a problem. Or a conclusion.

Say those two beta readers think your dialogue is terrible. Then that is a problem. Put it in your "things to fix in the revision" checklist. 

And make sure your "things to fix in revisions" is up to date. You don't want to edit things you have already fixed. 

After doing that, start on a "rotten" or "poor" spot of the draft. You don't have to work on the draft from beginning to end. You can fix scenes from the ending or the beginning. You can write new scenes and pieces of dialogue. Feel free to print out your entire draft. 

(Believe me, I printed out the entire draft of TLP. So many pages, so much ink). 

The point is to make your draft even better than before. Keep on repeating these steps until you get the draft you can not revise, because it is too darn good. 

That is when you know you are done. (But sometimes, you are never done. So if there is no end, I suggest you get a really, really good critique partner and ask yourself what is a good final draft). 

And this ends the series of "How to Revise Your First Draft." 

Happy Revising! 

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