Do you need to know more about how to revise your novel?

My daughter took Think Sideways. Wrote her first novel. Is working on revising it now.

And she said, “You know, I sort of get the One-Pass Revision, but I wish you had something a lot more in-depth for people who still aren’t sure which parts of what they’ve written are good, and which parts need to go. I want to have the whole thing broken down into tiny steps.”

Other people have said the same thing.

The One-Pass Revision is the way I revise my novels now. But now, I know how to look at characters, decide which need to stay and which need to go, and which need to be folded into other characters. I know where my writing was good and where it was bad. I can spot failed plotlines. I can identify the holes where description, conflict, and backstory should go.

When I was just getting started, my revision process was equally grueling, but different. I didn’t know the things I know now, so my process didn’t take anything for granted.

I still remember how I revised back then, and I wouldn’t mind teaching that method.

I’m just not sure how many people would actually want to spend three or four months doing a really intensive revision on their novels.

If this is something that would interest you, post here and let me know.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.

364 comments… add one
  • Kara Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:20

    Yes, please!

  • Jacqui Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:19

    I’d be interested too 🙂
    I have a 66,000+ NaNo novel that needs editing.

  • Deb Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:19

    Sure would be interested!

  • Davita Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:19

    I’d love something about this as well. It’s such an overwhelming process.

  • Emily Pritchard Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:17

    I’d love to take part in this!

  • Katie Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:15

    I would be interested in a course like that. I have several NaNo novels that I would like to revise.

  • Steff Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:14

    Definitely interested ….

  • Corie J Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:14

    oh, very much so! I’ve been spending about that long on revisions anyway, and not always sure what I’m doing ;>

  • Laurel Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:13

    Yes indeed!

  • Stacey Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:13

    I would be very much interested in this as well. I’d be open to any suggestions you can provide to make the revising process less painful!

  • Sara Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:13

    I could really use a thorough guide ! So it’s a ‘Yes, please’ from me 🙂

  • Meghan Scott Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:13

    I would be interested, depending on if I could afford it. Money as no object — absolutely!!! =)

  • Laurel Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:13

    Yes please!

  • Rene Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:11

    I am very interested! I definitely have trouble revising.

  • Faldwin Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:11

    Definitely, this is something that I would be very interested in. I’ve had a rough draft of my novel sitting on a shelf for almost two years now.

  • Deb Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:10

    I’d definitely be interested in a course like this.

  • ceecee Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:10

    Holly–Absolutely yes! I’m revising right now and wishing for a good, detailed guide to the process that will take me out of emotion/creative focus and into analysis/review focus. Thanks again!

  • Judy Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:10

    I’d be interested in hearing more about the course. thanks.

  • Amy Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:10

    I would be very interested in learning about something like this. Over the years i had started projects, but because of my lack of knowledge concerning writting books, many of these projects died before anything could be made of them. I feel this would benefit someone like me struggling to bring old projects back to life.

  • Michelle Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:10

    I’m a firm believer that there is no such thing as good writing — just good rewriting. And anything that can help me get there sounds like a valuable use of my time. I’d love to see the course outline.

  • Carradee Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:09

    *raises hand*

    I’m liking the notecard method for identifying what scenes need revision (using highlighters and a black permanent marker to mark the top edge to color-code my white notecards). I’m now stuck with a stack of notecards and an empty space in my novel that needs filling and have to figure out what subplot I can put in there.

    I think seeing a guide to revision for n00bs would help me, because I’ve noticed that writer’s block means something’s wrong. Being stuck therefore means I’m missing something.

  • Mary Germano Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:09

    This is absolutely something I need!

  • Gillian G. Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:08

    I would be very interested!

  • Olga Oliver Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:08

    A step-by-step organized revision process (no matter the length) would be great. I’d like to review one. Thanks.

  • Paula Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:08

    Count my vote.

  • Carey Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:08

    Yes, for the love of all that is good in this world, you must do this!

  • Casey Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:08

    I’d definitely be interested!

  • J.C. Hay Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:08

    I would be interested in this too – please keep us posted!

  • Leah Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:08

    Me, too!

  • Alley Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:07

    Yup, even though I’m mega behind on the other class. Work has been busy and still writing my first draft. I’m printing it all out though to be easier to review. Loathe reading online. Still, I look forward to it.

  • Abby Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:06

    Oh yes, I could really use some more in-detail help with revision!

  • Sarah Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:05

    Yes! Please! Currently working on revising a middle-reader novel and could really use some fresh insights. Thank you!!

  • Colette C Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:05

    Yes, I’m interested. I’m in the process of writing my first novel but already I’m dreading the revising bit.

    And thanks so much for all your wonderful support…

  • Marjorie Liu Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:04

    Count me in!

  • Willa Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:04

    I would LOVE to take a course like this!

  • Sara Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:03

    I’ve spent more time revising my novel–or trying to, at any rate–than I took to write it. So, yes, I need all the help I can get!

  • Rachel Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:03

    Yes please, this would be wonderful!

  • Lisa Fioresi Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:03

    sounds great-tell where to sign up!

  • Jeanie Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:03

    I would be interested in it.

  • Zach Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:03

    I’d be interested in this too. I’ve written one novel to date, and the thought of going back to revise is filling me with creeping dread. Needs to happen, I know, but how do I know what to keep and what to cut and what to expand, etc?

  • Lisa Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:03

    Yes, please, very interested. I’ve never revised anything larger than a short story, so any guidance would be welcome.

  • Mike T. Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:02

    I’m glad you remember that some of us are just starting out.
    I have abandoned two “finished” books out of frustration…
    Yes, of course.

  • Justina Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:02

    I think this would be a useful course. It’s not something that’s out there and readily available. There are tons of courses to try and help you write your novel, but what do i do when it’s done?

  • Cameron Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:02

    Yup – I am working on revising one now, and I am not expert enough for the one-pass method yet, I don’t think. I am halfway through pass one but realizing I need to do more organization, time flows and consistency things, and *gasp* add a subplot or two to add more to the story…

  • Sharon Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:01

    Very Interested

  • Tami Aug 18, 2009 @ 11:59

    If I vote in all caps, does it count twice? And maybe once more for an exclamation point?


  • Teresa Aug 18, 2009 @ 11:58

    Yes, please! 🙂

  • Meghan Aug 18, 2009 @ 11:30

    Yes, count me in! 😀

  • Sarah Aug 18, 2009 @ 0:43

    I vote yes as well! Revising my first novel was hellish, and I did horribly at it, to boot. The whole process just seems too big, and I gave up. Even revising short stories, I feel like I lose my way. I haven’t gotten to the one-pass lesson in HtTS, but I know I’ll want as much info on this topic as I can get.

  • Jim Mitchel Aug 17, 2009 @ 22:19

    I would be interested as well!

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