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Well, at the end of this week, I believe I’ll be finished with my revisions to my current MS. For now, at least.
I expected that announcement to make me feel better but I have to admit that I’m just exhausted by it. I finished this book faster than my first book (on Sept 7) but it’s taken me almost two months of near constant revising to get it close to where I wanted it to be. I’m still not sure this is the end of it, figured I’d take a few weeks away and write the proposal for its sequel, then come back. Though I do expect I’ll start querying soon.
This is the first real stab at serious revising I’ve done. With my first MS, I could see a few fundamental problems with the story, so I didn’t go back and hack too hard at it. I’ll admit I almost sighed with relief that time that I wouldn’t have to get too involved in revisions last time. No avoiding it this time around.
I didn’t really know where to start, to be honest. I read it through at first, making grammatical changes, cutting some extraneous words. I let my first CP read it. She made a suggestions, I adjusted.
After a week or so of sitting on it, I adjusted a conflict.
I let another CP read it. She prefers beta heroes while my first CP prefers alpha heroes. CP 2 hated, I mean hated my hero. She admitted that this could have been because she prefers betas and well, my hero was severely alpha. I read through CP2’s comments very closely, trying to find where Nik fell on the alpha scale. I adjusted some of his motivations, some of his reactions. While I didn’t want him to be beta, I definitely didn’t want him to be a complete a**hole either.
I cut a couple scenes on my own, including my first scene and a “girltalk-y” scene in the middle that didn’t do much for my story. I added some things. Read through again.
Another CP weighs in. She’s my grammar queen-fact checking guru. Though she doesn’t particularly like the genre I write in and she prefers sweeter romance to the more sensual stuff I write, she read me through. She caught a few inconsistencies in my world building, a few missed facts with the FBI. I adjusted.
At each step along the way, each CP helped me out with word choice, with conciseness, and with general tightening up.
PS, have I mentioned that all three of my CPs rock it hard? No? Well, there you go then. They are AWESOME.
So now I’m ready for my beta readers to hit it, tell me what they think.
I’ve been trying to figure out what I could have done to make this easier.
Here’s the stuff I did do:
1) I wrote a list. I know, you’re all shocked. Marnee? With a list? What a surprise. I made a list of things that struck me funny. I added more and subtracted from as I went along making changes. Only a couple more things on it.
2) I read it out loud. My family thinks I’m crazy, my cat is now fully versed in my angelic/demonic world, but it worked to catch some issues.
3) Of course, I had my CPs read it for me.
4) I read through with an eye towards Margie Lawson’s EDITS system.
So, wenches…. Any other suggestions? Things that have made revising easier for you along the way? Any revision techniques you’d care to share? I could definitely use them.