February 27, 2010

How to Revise Your Novel (And Live Your Life)

Okay, so I think I have a revising system that works. It's not as fast as previous revisions, but this run-through is more intense and demands a lot more time and care.

First thing in the morning, my toddler wakes me up and I make her breakfast. While she's eating, I can eat a granola bar and get maybe three pages of revising done. Then we go through our morning play routine and she goes down for a nap right around lunchtime.

I get an hour of revising done as soon as she goes down. Usually 10 pages. Then I take a short break--mostly eating lunch, doing stuff on the computer, etc...

If she's still asleep at that point (not likely), I revise some more.

Sounds pretty efficient, until I realized that this only happens three times a week. The other days of the week are abnormal--I run, lift weights, do stuff with my husband, go grocery shopping, visit family, and probably some other random things I haven't thought of. Some of those days, Rebecca doesn't even have time to take a nap.

Any revising on abnormal days is a good day.

All in all, I try to get at least 50 pages a week edited. I say that's pretty good.

As far as technique goes, I'm using Holly Lisle's How to Revise Your Novel. (FANTASTIC method, by the way.)

But I also found a great post by author Keli Gwyn about how she revises a novel. It's pretty involved--sticky notes, poster board, a yardstick--but I like it.


Patti said...

sounds like a great plan. I work three days a week and do tons of errands on my days off, so my writing is very erratic.

Keli Gwyn said...


Thanks for sharing the link to my article. I'm glad you found it helpful. I hope your revisions are going well. I admire you being able to mother a toddler and write. ~ Keli

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