how to revise your novel :: don't stop until you're proud

Step one – open shitty first draft.
2 print out in word draft mode, light colored ink. 3 put on extra
strong glasses and lamp. rewrite every single page until it looks
like it’s bleeding. Be aware that you might need a lot of physical
space for laying out the pages. clothespins are key. 5. type in
handwritten edits. 6. go back to step 2 and do it all again. lather
rinse repeat.

Step one – open shitty first draft.
Step two –  print out in word draft mode, light colored ink.
Step three – put on extra strong glasses and bright lamp. Rewrite every single page until it looks like it’s bleeding. Be aware that you might need a lot of physical space for laying out the pages. Clothespins are key. So are Post-It notes.

ugly stuff
ugly stuff

Step five – type in handwritten edits.
smells fishy to Barkis
smells fishy to Barkis

Step six – go back to step 2 and do it all again.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
everyone's a critic
everyone’s a critic

Barkis is not too subtle when he wants to go for a walk….
The secret? See below:

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36 Responses

  1. I can’t imagine ANY draft of yours is “shitty”.

    I will volunteer to walk Barkis any time you are busy:o) GREAT to see the handsome dude! It certainly can be said he really gets into reading/critiquing your work..or is it “onto”?

    He seems to be looking pretty close to the page….think he needs bifocals?
    Give him a big hug for me, please.

  2. I can’t imagine ANY draft of yours is “shitty”.
    I will volunteer to walk Barkis any time you are busy:o) GREAT to see the handsome dude! It certainly can be said he really gets into reading/critiquing your work..or is it “onto”?
    He seems to be looking pretty close to the page….think he needs bifocals?
    Give him a big hug for me, please.

  3. You are organized!!!!!
    Post-its and rewrites neatly done and laid out…hmmm…I’m learning something here….

    And Barkis is a doll. Just went looking for a second dog today at rescue shelters. I need one of those dogs who lies at my feet while I write as opposed to our beagle who cares only to claim the entire couch.

  4. You are organized!!!!!
    Post-its and rewrites neatly done and laid out…hmmm…I’m learning something here….
    And Barkis is a doll. Just went looking for a second dog today at rescue shelters. I need one of those dogs who lies at my feet while I write as opposed to our beagle who cares only to claim the entire couch.

  5. Lovin’ the hemorrhage! Related to a previous post: Word does pretty much suck, but the Track Changes are great for increasing margin space for all the oozing rewrites!

  6. Lovin’ the hemorrhage! Related to a previous post: Word does pretty much suck, but the Track Changes are great for increasing margin space for all the oozing rewrites!

  7. I’m not a writer, just a reader, but wanted to send encouragement / tea and sympathy. Keep on keeping on!!

    The wedding pictures are precious. Sigh—The way they look at each other!

    Love the duct tape, that looks like something my guy would do.

  8. I’m not a writer, just a reader, but wanted to send encouragement / tea and sympathy. Keep on keeping on!!
    The wedding pictures are precious. Sigh—The way they look at each other!
    Love the duct tape, that looks like something my guy would do.

  9. Thanks for being so down to earth and showing us how you really work. I am working on my first book, so I am trying to be like a sponge and absorb any hints that will help. Love your books……

  10. Thanks for being so down to earth and showing us how you really work. I am working on my first book, so I am trying to be like a sponge and absorb any hints that will help. Love your books……

  11. Love the contest on Wiggs blog (thanks for the heads up from the Twitter tweet)….but I am still wondering what step 4 is VBG………

    Pam

  12. Love the contest on Wiggs blog (thanks for the heads up from the Twitter tweet)….but I am still wondering what step 4 is VBG………
    Pam

  13. Nice, nice. I’m glad to have stumbled upon your blog! Call me crazy, but I kinda like the way a page looks when it’s bleeding and bandaged with post-its. Gives it character (oh, and the fact that lifeless drafts are revived into better versions of themselves along the way). Your dog is cute, too.

  14. Nice, nice. I’m glad to have stumbled upon your blog! Call me crazy, but I kinda like the way a page looks when it’s bleeding and bandaged with post-its. Gives it character (oh, and the fact that lifeless drafts are revived into better versions of themselves along the way). Your dog is cute, too.

  15. Reblogged this on myhomemadelibrary and commented:
    One of the many great things about social media is that we (as readers, TV viewers, lovers of food, etc.) get to see behind-the-scenes action from our favourite authors, actresses, chefs…So, I can’t help but be excited to read (and view) author Susan Wiggs’ post on editing a novel. I’m not a writer, but this is so fun to see as a reader! And isn’t her dog super cute? Thanks for involving us Susan!

  16. Reblogged this on myhomemadelibrary and commented:
    One of the many great things about social media is that we (as readers, TV viewers, lovers of food, etc.) get to see behind-the-scenes action from our favourite authors, actresses, chefs…So, I can’t help but be excited to read (and view) author Susan Wiggs’ post on editing a novel. I’m not a writer, but this is so fun to see as a reader! And isn’t her dog super cute? Thanks for involving us Susan!

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