Kat Cho

Tips on tackling a big Revision

So, I was inspired by my own revisions to write out a quick post based on my methods and path toward shiny happy manuscript town. To be honest, I still live in revision land which I describe as a a town sitting on a giant cliff (good for screaming into the void), a cave of despair, and a fountain of wine.

So, without further ado, my main revision steps:

‣ “mulling” period/Absorb the critique – I usually take 1-3 days to just mull over the notes. (This time frame changes with when my deadline is but I always take at least 24 hours)

• DO NOT automatically reject any critique/note. Allow them all to sit through the “mulling” period.

‣ Organize the feedback into themes or topics (e.g. Pacing, Character arc of MC, Character arc of antagonist, world-building, inciting incident, climax, etc)

• If I have feedback from more than one person I like to combine all of the notes and organize them according to section, theme, or topic.

‣ Brainstorm solutions and ideas

• If I have an idea before my “mulling” period is over I will still write them down, but I don’t pressure myself to start this process until I’ve absorbed everything.

• This is when you can decide which notes are the most effective for your story and which don’t go with the themes or tone you’re going for. Be open minded. The whole time as it’s easy to think that something doesn’t “go with the story” when really it’s just a hard problem to solve and we long to throw it out

‣ Plan out which points I want to tackle first, second, third, and so on. So, for the last revision I did I wanted to work on adjusting the inciting incident first because that would affect the entire rest of the story. Then I wanted to work on character arc because that was influenced by inciting incident and was important because it spoke to the main relationship. THEN I did line-edits and addressed pacing issues.

‣ Optional: Create a schedule if you have a set deadline. Make sure to build in a bit of a buffer at the end just in case you go slower than you anticipated.

• Do NOT feel bad for days that you do not work on the revision. That’s why we built in that buffer!

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