Once you’ve written several drafts of your book and you’ve received feedback from beta readers and/or a manuscript appraiser, you’ll need to know how to revise a novel because your feedback will most likely indicate the necessity for some revision. This is the last hurdle, the bit that might take a bit of effort, but if you pull it off, you’re on the home straight, and it’s easy sailing from here to the finish line.
Yeah, I love analogies!
How much work is required depends on many factors and how much direction you’ve got from your beta readers, but often they will point out something that doesn’t work without knowing exactly why. Your task is to find out why it doesn’t work and fix it. You may need only a few changes, but you may also need a complete rewrite, depending on the feedback you received.
Regardless of how much revision is required, a checklist of the most important story elements comes in handy at this stage because you can use it as a diagnostic tool. I’ve made a checklist for you to make it easy for you to keep it on your computer somewhere and refer to it when you need it. I wish I’d had something like this to help me with my first book, but I only developed it when I came to revise my 7th novel – one I decided not to publish. By then I knew all the points, but I’d never put it into a checklist format. I found the checklist a big help for revising my subsequent books, Worlds Within Worlds and The Locksmith’s Secret since it made it easy to pick up weak points.
Click here to Download my FREE Novel Revision Checklist
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Once you’ve downloaded the checklist, go through your book again, considering each point, and ask yourself if this is an area that needs strengthening, and if it will solve the issues your beta readers flagged.
After that, you’re ready for editing. My next post will be on self-editing, on what to do to minimise your editing costs. If you get the checklist, you’ll also be notified when that post is published.