5 FACTS ABOUT MY REVISION PROCESS
Last week I talked about five facts about my writing process (found here) and this week I'm going to dive into another part of the writing life, and talk about five facts about my revision process. This is something that I have developed over a number of years and I'm still learning. If you find something that resonates with you, then feel free to let me know, or use it yourself!
FACT #1: I OUTLINE EXTENSIVELY WHEN REVISING
I've always known that pantsing makes it harder to revise, and even though I edit as I go, there's always going to be things that get missed, or aren't a problem until the very end of the book. While I will let the project sit for a long while, I like to read through it once or twice, make notes, and then draft a proper outline. I go into detail of the timeline, or the plot points that need to happen when, and of any changes that I'll need to make for the revision process. I didn't start doing this until a few books back, and I have to say that it's really helped me get things straight and streamline my revision process.
FACT #2: THERE IS NO SET WAY FOR ME TO REVISE
Going off that last fact, I will say that every book is different. I don't have a solid, fits every book, way of doing things. While the readthroughs and the outline stay the same, every single project throws up its own issues and I'm still finding a way to make it work for me. There are some projects where it's easier to revise than others. There are some where it's better for me to take only snippets of the original draft and rewrite from the ground up because it's just too much of a mess otherwise.
FACT #3: REVISIONS TAKE ME MONTHS
I've always been someone who can write pretty much consistently, but when it comes to revising, it can take me months to even get to the point where I'm ready to make changes. I will keep notes throughout the first readthrough but I'll also make notes through every other pass I make. I don't set a limit on how long it'll take me to revise, it really does depend on project to project. I do like to try and have at least one revision project on the go at all times so that I know I'm making a dent in my backlog.
FACT #4: I LIKE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE FIRST DRAFT AND THE NEXT ONE
This is something that a lot of writers will say, to get some distance between draft one and the next one. For some writers this is a week or two, others it's months, for me it's years. That's not just because I have the backlog that I do, but because I do have that backlog I can take that time away from a project and really forget all about it. I will still be running ideas through my head, but when it comes to opening that first draft again, I want to be as fresh eyed as I can be.
Of course, it's not always possible, and so sometimes I've come back to a draft after a few months and will still find it somewhat okay to revise through it. But ideally, I'll put a year or two between finishing the first draft and picking up the next one.
FACT #5: I DON'T MIND SOME REVISING
As someone who's always said they prefer drafting, I do have to say that revision is somewhat easier for me than the professional edit. I find that I get less anxious the further I get through the drafts. I try to keep track of which number I'm on, but it doesn't always work for me. I will, however, try and make sure that by the time it gets to the beta phase, I'm happy enough with the draft that I won't get too anxious. It's the letting other people read my work that makes me jumpy and ruins the enjoyment of the process for me. Once I've started to do that, it all comes together better.
So there we go, that's five facts about my revision process. Check in next week to get another five facts about something else in the writing process!
Any questions? Lemme know in the comments below!
Monday, 7 March 2022
5 Facts About My Revision Process
5 FACTS ABOUT MY REVISION PROCESS