Hello lovelies and welcome back to the blog.
We’ve been talking about revisions and how to get through your draft process. A few weeks ago, I gave you an overview of how to work through a revision in a way that makes sense so that you are not working against yourself the whole time. I gave you a free revision checklist and if you have not picked that up yet go ahead and grab that now. We are going to go in depth this week into the second item on that checklist which is to do a complete read-through and take notes.
Mark anything you notice
When you’re doing your readthrough you’re going to want to mark down anything that you notice while you’re reading. If you’re seeing any clunky writing, if you find anything that’s taking you out of the narrative, if you have questions, or if you find inconsistencies, you want to make note of these and definitely write them down. You don’t need to fix anything yet. Just make note of anything that you noticed while you’re reading.
Pay special attention to big problems
While clunky sentences can throw you out of the narrative, you want to pay the most attention to big problems that occur within your narrative. I’ll list out a few of them for you now.
- Plot holes. Whether big or small, plot holes are particularly good at breaking your novel and throwing your reader off. When you’re reading your novel all at once you can take it in as a complete whole and see where your plot is failing.
- Character or worldbuilding inconsistencies. You can tend to lose track of your characters or worldbuilding elements when they are spread out throughout thousands of words. A place that started as sun worshipping may have turned moon worshipping; one who tends to check their sword at their hip might instead cross their arms. When you read through everything in a shorter period, you can spot where a character or worldbuilding element isn’t staying consistent.
- Character and story arc improvements. Reading through your novel all at once in a short period of time can give you a good idea of what is and isn’t working. As a reader you intuitively know when you are hitting the right beats and when you aren’t hitting them hard enough, or at all.
At the end of this step you should have a whole list of things that should be revised in your novel. I don’t recommend jumping straight into revisions after this. Take some time and digest what you’ve already accomplished. Try to think through the implications of what you’ve already found. If a character arc isn’t working, you’re going to need to find out why. If a plot hole exists you’re going to need to patch it in a way that isn’t going to make big waves in your story.
Again, don’t just jump straight in to making a ton of changes right away. Give yourself a little bit of time to really think about your story as a whole.
Next week we will talk about actually doing the revisions.
If you love these tips, I have this entire post as an easy to use printable checklist! If you want it, it’s totally free!