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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364 responses to “Do you need to know more about how to revise your novel?”

  1. Kara Avatar

    Yes, please!

  2. Jacqui Avatar

    I’d be interested too ๐Ÿ™‚
    I have a 66,000+ NaNo novel that needs editing.

  3. Deb Avatar

    Sure would be interested!

  4. Davita Avatar

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

  5. Emily Pritchard Avatar
    Emily Pritchard

    I’d love to take part in this!

  6. Katie Avatar

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

  7. Steff Avatar

    Definitely interested ….

  8. Corie J Avatar
    Corie J

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

  9. Laurel Avatar

    Yes indeed!

  10. Stacey Avatar

    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!

  11. Sara Avatar

    I could really use a thorough guide ! So it’s a ‘Yes, please’ from me ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Meghan Scott Avatar
    Meghan Scott

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

  13. Laurel Avatar

    Yes please!

  14. Rene Avatar

    I am very interested! I definitely have trouble revising.

  15. Faldwin Avatar

    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.

  16. Deb Avatar

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

  17. ceecee Avatar

    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!

  18. Judy Avatar

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

  19. Amy Avatar

    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.

  20. Michelle Avatar

    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.

  21. Carradee Avatar

    *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.

  22. Mary Germano Avatar
    Mary Germano

    This is absolutely something I need!

  23. Gillian G. Avatar
    Gillian G.

    I would be very interested!

  24. Olga Oliver Avatar
    Olga Oliver

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

  25. Paula Avatar

    Count my vote.

  26. Carey Avatar

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

  27. Casey Avatar

    I’d definitely be interested!

  28. J.C. Hay Avatar

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

  29. Alley Avatar

    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.

  30. Abby Avatar

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

  31. Sarah Avatar

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

  32. Colette C Avatar
    Colette C

    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…

  33. Marjorie Liu Avatar
    Marjorie Liu

    Count me in!

  34. Willa Avatar

    I would LOVE to take a course like this!

  35. Sara Avatar

    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!

  36. Rachel Avatar

    Yes please, this would be wonderful!

  37. Lisa Fioresi Avatar
    Lisa Fioresi

    sounds great-tell where to sign up!

  38. Jeanie Avatar

    I would be interested in it.

  39. Zach Avatar

    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?

  40. Lisa Avatar

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

  41. Mike T. Avatar
    Mike T.

    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.

  42. Justina Avatar

    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?

  43. Cameron Avatar

    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…

  44. Sharon Avatar

    Very Interested

  45. Tami Avatar

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


  46. Teresa Avatar

    Yes, please! ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. Meghan Avatar

    Yes, count me in! ๐Ÿ˜€

  48. Sarah Avatar

    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.

  49. Jim Mitchel Avatar

    I would be interested as well!

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