So, this time I thought I’d share the things that keep me relatively sane while revising (besides coffee and chocolate croissants):
- Tackle one thing at a time. In other words, make one pass through to deal with voice, the next one to deal with story logic, chapter endings, and so forth. For me, this makes it seem do able. Small victories. However, you can note other things you notice along the way. Color coded post-its work wonders.
- Smear on exposition (thinly) to advance the outer story. As may be evident from Memento Nora, I’m not a big fan of the info dump. (Call it a pet peeve even.) Gradually clue in your readers, with a hint of description here, a well chosen word of dialogue there. Your reader will get it.
- Untangle time and plot lines. I lay out what happens when and where on a calendar. Sometimes you discover, especially with multiple points of view, that you have somebody in two places at one time, for instance.
- Heighten tension toward the end by adding or accentuating a plot or character complication. This could be twist or betrayal or revelation that makes your story more satisfying. Of course, you’ll have to go back through and make sure this twist is adequately setup or foreshadowed (without giving it away).
What are some of the things that you look for when you revise? What keeps you sane (revision-wise)?