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.

image_pdfDownload as PDFimage_printPrint Page

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
  • Angela Aug 18, 2009 @ 13:17

    Of course I’d like that course! PLEASE!

  • Roma Aug 18, 2009 @ 13:16


  • Cristina Aug 18, 2009 @ 13:14

    Absolutely, yes. 🙂

  • Berni Aug 18, 2009 @ 13:14

    As I am working on my very first novel, I most definitely would find this proposed course helpful.

  • Jaime Theler Aug 18, 2009 @ 13:10

    I would be interested, for sure. Thanks for all you share!

  • Sapphire Aug 18, 2009 @ 13:10


  • Tom Saine Aug 18, 2009 @ 13:06

    Yes, sounds like it would be helpful, that is, if the price isn’t to much. I’m on a fixed income so money is a constant problem. Do you give senior discounts?

  • LCC Aug 18, 2009 @ 13:05

    Yes! More, please!

  • Jean Aug 18, 2009 @ 13:02

    Definitely, please and thank you. Not sure I can afford a course, but having the option would still be great. I’m making great strides with the One-Pass method, but there are still things I’m not sure about.

  • Danielle Aug 18, 2009 @ 13:01

    Yes, I’d love to have this on hand for when I *cough* finish my novel.

  • John1084 Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:58

    Yes I would, and what’s a Nano novel? I must have been absent that day.

    • Holly Lisle Aug 18, 2009 @ 13:04

      NaNoWriMo is National Novel-Writing Month, in which lunatics novelists from around the world sit down to torture themselves write at least 50,000 words of novel in the month of November.

      This process creates a whole lot of very hairy first drafts.

  • jeC Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:58

    I’m not sure if I’d be interested in signing up for or buying a course about detailed revision, but a short (or.. not so short 😉 ) article that goes a little more into tips, decisions, methods and etc., I would defintely love to look at.
    Thanks for your continued support, encouragment and words of wisdom. Love you, Holly~<3

  • Eline Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:57

    yes, please! its exactly what i need!

  • Mike Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:53


  • Clifford Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:52

    I have four novels, all in first-draft stage. I would love to know how to revise them.

  • Tami Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:51

    I’d like to learn more as well.

  • Rohi Shetty Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:51

    Yes, oui, ya and yea.

  • Marli Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:50

    Yes, I would like to know more about revising my novel & short stories. Thanks so much…Marlene

  • J. P. Wickwire Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:49

    Oh, I would be most interested in something like this. As a struggling novelist who can’t seem to edit anything in its entirety, this sounds like just what I need 😀

  • Kathleen Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:49

    Yes! Absolutely interested. I love your ‘teaching voice’, Holly and would sign up today if this class was offered. Thank you for considering it!

  • Chad-Michael Simon Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:49

    I would be interested in the course. 🙂

  • Sylvielisea Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:44


  • Suzi Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:43

    Sounds good to me! 🙂

  • Texanne Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:39

    Oh, I’d much rather spend four months revising than to spend the same amount of time staring at the ceiling and wondering what’s wrong!
    I’d love to take the course.

  • Liza Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:37

    Sounds like something that would help me.

  • Kayleigh Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:37
  • Emma Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:36

    Yes please!

  • Sonja Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:35

    Yes, please!

  • Yvonne Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:34

    Yes, I would consider taking this course

  • Dave Murray Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:32

    My answer is YES!
    Before signing up for How to Think Sideways, I did nine revisions on my novel, and most of them resulted in polishing a lot of unnecessary baggage. HtTS one pass editing has taken me through the tenth edit, but yet one more will be needed to catch continuity errors made by extensive rearranging. If I had written the novel using Sideways, I might have been able to do two passes. My next novel will follow the steps in Sideways!
    I hope you can make the new course free to graduates of Sideways or work out something because my job is cut as of September 5, and I won’t be able to pay for it.

  • Neyska Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:31

    I would definately be interested in this. I have 4 novels through first draft and am struggling through the process of revising now.

  • Rett Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:30

    I also am interested in this. I have one written, working on another. No luck yet, but trying.

  • Kimberly Gardner Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:29

    I often spend three/four months revising my novels anyway and end up still unsure about the ultimate result. I would definitely be interested in a revision course with you. Your methods really click with me and everything I’ve bought from your shop has proved to be a terrific investment.

  • Heather Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:29

    This sounds like a wonderful idea. I’m about two thirds finished with my first novel, and I’ve been wondering exactly how I was going to revise. Wonderful idea, Holly!

  • Elizabeth Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:29

    YES, please!! 😀

  • Tracey Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:28

    I think this sounds like a great addition to the wealth of knowledge you already offer. It would be very helpful.

  • Kristina Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:27

    Yes, please, I would be very interested in this course because that is the one thing with which I am currently struggling in regards to the rough draft of my first novel.

  • Jessica Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:26

    This would be so helpful! include me please.

  • aims Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:25

    Include me in the need to know. Thanks!

  • Lois Eighmy Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:24

    I would definitely be interested in something like this. I’ve got several novels needing revision. I’ve also got several I’m currently working on! 😛 Thanks!


  • Cora Zane Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:23

    Yes, yes, yes!!! 😀

  • Greta Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:23

    Yes! This would be a wonderful course.

  • Gene Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:22

    Definitely. Im on chapter nine, and don’t know how sany chapters yet. Have been giving much thought about revision, and frankly the whole magilla froightens the heck out of me! Help!

  • tony Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:22

    yes please!

  • Angelyn Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:21

    yes, absolutely

  • jeannette Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:21


  • Tim Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:21

    Yes, yes, yes please do a course on revising a novel.

  • Pat Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:20

    Absolutely, I would love a course on revision. I am having fits trying to fix my book, so much mixed advice, so many external considerations. I’m losing the love. . . .

    Cheers, Pat

  • Karen Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:20

    YES – this course would be most welcome!!

    • Kathleen Aug 18, 2009 @ 13:12

      Much needed — yes

  • Bree Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:20

    I’m always up for learning something new, and this sounds extremely helpful!

    Yes! 🙂

Leave a Reply to LCCCancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.