“Revising Revisions”


Manuscript revisions are something I look forward to spending time on, rather than dreading. Maybe I’ve trained myself to realize your first or rough draft is not as hot as you think it is. It’s far from perfect and always needs a LOT of work.

I try to catch as many “mistakes” as I can before even showing my manuscripts to any of my critique partners or for-hire editors. Actually, it’s almost as a courtesy to them. Their time is valuable, plus I want to make sure they’re seeing my best work, even if it’s not a bona fide done product.

That brings up another side to revisions: revising your revisions. When I get suggestions back from my critiquers, I’m always excited to see what they have to say, see if it rings true with my vision, and then jump right into revising. Or is that, jump “write’ in! I love it, because revising manuscripts gets messy and is oh so fun. Maybe I just like marking up my stories with ink.


One of my messy revisions on my manuscript.

A struggle usually ensues as I revise my revisions. Most of what my critique partners recommend is valid and I must therefore find a way to weave their suggestions into my revisions to make it a stronger story. It may mean more research or rethinking the beginning, ending, conflict, or all the above. But, it will be a better story once I add my spin to it.

Beware, true revisions are hard work. They’re necessary and a must if you desire to be published. And keep in mind, once an agent and editor takes on your project, they’ll be sending you revision suggestions of their own!

You input: Do you enjoy or dread revising your manuscripts?