How to revise with an Edit Letter: Part 3

Are you still with me? Because Part 2 can be pretty brutal if you have an extensive edit on your hands and you may think you’re never going to survive to see the light of Part 3. But you will.

For me, I cut about 10k words and then added back about 5k. I combined chapters, adjusted character motivations and added a few new chapters.

All in all, once I started revising (after all the planning stages), it took me about 8 weeks to finish (I have a full time job and 3 kids though, so that definitely contributed to the time).

So how do you know that you’re finished revising?

Well if you followed the previous steps, you’re going to have all these:

IMG_4233that should now look like this:

IMG_5547

I then printed out a fresh copy of my edit letter and went through with a highlighter. Everything that I did already I highlighted in green and everything I still needed to do, I highlighted in yellow. If you your pages are almost entirely filled with green, you’re almost done. If they have a lot of yellow, you still got some work to do!

IMG_5549I had some yellow, so I went back through and fixed it note by note until all my yellow was then scribbled in green. It was quite the colorful few pages!

So you’re done with all your notes!

The first thing you need to do is celebrate because THAT my friend was not easy. It was time consuming and mind bending and there were more times that you thought about setting your manuscript on fire than you would care to admit. I bet the LAST THING you want to do right now is ever look at it again… but guess what? We have a part 4.

Technically part 4 would be to do a read-through from beginning to end, but that doesn’t warrant it’s own post so Part 3 (b) is READ THROUGH YOUR ENTIRE MANUSCRIPT. If you can, print it out again. If you can’t, send it to your e-reader. The whole point is that you’re not allowed to fiddle with it when you read. Just make notes.

Part 3 (c) would be to then implement those notes.

You know what you have now? A pretty solid revised draft. At this point you can either

  1. Send it straight to your agent/editor
  2. Send it out to your CPs

If you did some major revisions that affects the majority of your book, I advise if at all possible to send a first revision to your CPs so they can give you some perspective. Your draft you send to your agent/editor will be much stronger because of it. If it’s just a few chapters, just send those few chapters to a CP. The point is that you might think you nailed it, but another perspective might show you have a few more tweaks to go.

Well I hope this helped! Let me know if you have any questions I can answer in more detail.

 

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