Finishing a first draft is a huge deal. If you just accomplished this, be proud of yourself! At the same time, you might be wondering how to revise a novel after that first draft is done. There’s a lot of advice out there. Which do you listen to?
The revision process doesn’t have to be complicated. However, you might feel—especially if this is your first completed draft ever—intimidated to edit your book. There’s a lot of words and scenes to review. Where do you begin?
In this article, I’d like to share how I took a daunting editing process and created a simplified, concise, and clear strategy to revising your first draft. I do this with what I call a Revision List—a table with five columns that can help you simplify big ideas.
If you’re like me, you won’t ever want to edit a first draft without it!
Have you ever felt cheated when reading a book? Like the author held back information that would have enhanced your reading experience? Or neglected to include all the relevant details that would have allowed you to solve the mystery? Did the sequence of events in the story feel…off?
Think about this:
What if J.K. Rowling neglected to have Hagrid tell Harry about his parents’ deaths until the end of The Sorcerer’s Stone?
What if the writers of Die Hard had let Hans Gruber discover Holly was John McClane’s wife right up front?
What if Suzanne Collins had forgotten to alert readers to a rule change allowing tributes from the same district to win as a team in The Hunger Games?
Leaving out these vital pieces of information—or putting them in the wrong place—would have robbed these stories of a full measure of suspense. This would have dulled the impact of their final scenes.
As a writer, you never want readers to feel cheated or disappointed by your book. But how can you make sure you include all the relevant pieces of the puzzle, in the right order, to sustain suspense and satisfy your reader?
You’ve written a children’s book. Great work! Now, have you thought about marketing your children’s book? Do you wonder if this is even important, or how to do it?
One of the most important considerations you, as a children’s book author (or book author in general), need to address along with the creative side of things is: Who is your target reader? Or, who is your target market?
As a book writer, we like to imagine that everyone will love our book. But this is unrealistic, nonstrategic and a quick way to experience the disappointment of sluggish sales.
Truth: We don’t want to be all things to all people. We want to be the choice for specific, potential readers.
If we write a book without knowing exactly who we’re writing for, we end up writing for our own enjoyment. This is fine and good unless you wish to make money from your book writing efforts.
You’ve been thinking about it for months, promising yourself that when it arrives you are finally going to knuckle down and write your manuscript. Then you realize, you have no idea how to prepare to write a book.
It doesn’t matter if you visit your favorite coffee shop or have the best book ideas in the world, if you don’t figure out your ideal writing process, it’s unlikely that you’ll actually finish your entire book.
If you want to be a successful writer, start your book writing process by evaluating your creative process and when and how you produce the best work.
This may seem overwhelming.
Here’s the good news: You don’t have to just jump into it feet first.
There are things you can start doing right now to set yourself up for a solid writing routine and good actual writing that will do your rough draft (or final draft) justice.
One of the greatest challenges of writing better stories is knowing exactly which scenes to write. The best scenes focus on the core elements of conflict — which means before you can write amazing scenes, you have to find the conflict in a story.
Strong scenes come from strong plans. And visualizing the conflict between your characters is a great way to do just that.
How do you submit a short story for publication? It’s a lot to think about and I’ve seen more than one writer throw in the towel and say they’re happy to just be writing. To make it easier, there are ten steps you can take to tackle short story submissions.
It may seem overwhelming, but once you know what you’re doing, getting short stories published isn’t as scary as it seems.
In this article, you’ll learn the ten steps needed to submit a short story for submission and hopefully get it published.