Getting started on Midnight Rain revisions

By Holly Lisle

I’ve had my celebration — a few hours of lying flat on my back staring at the ceiling in sheer, utter relief, some hanging out with Matt, and the ingestion of several fat-free fudgesicles (hey, I know how to party, by God) — and it’s time to get back to work.

I have my raw first-draft manuscript of Midnight Rain printed off, and I’m getting ready to do a one-pass revision, starting tonight. I know a lot of the folks reading this are regulars in the community and therefore are familiar with revision in general and my process in particular, but if you’re new to this and wondering how one novelist revises a manuscript, here’s my process. It’s pretty grueling, but also very effective, at least for me. Please realize that when you’re discussing writing, nothing works for everyone, nothing is universal, and most things won’t even work for the same writer every time. Writing and revising are constantly-evolving processes, and the game is never the same twice.

Which is why it’s so much fun to play, when it isn’t making the writer crazy.

My objectives in this revison are as follows —

  • Tighten up the theme and focus of the story
  • Add 20,000 fat-free, no-padding-permitted words
  • Get more resonance in the ending
  • Tie up all loose ends
  • Check continuity
  • Eliminate errors.

I’m giving myself until the end of the month to get this right.

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