Monday, November 21, 2011

Revision - Day 1: format and critique partner notes

I took out my manuscript of novel #1 yesterday to make some small changes.  As I may have mentioned, I won a full manuscript  review/critique from Rachel Bateman.

She's doing the NaNoWriMo so she asked if she could hold off until December on the critique.  That is fine with me since it gave me some time to "tweak" the thing.

I started out with formatting:
  • I got rid of all the "hard returns" between chapters.  And fixed the indents (instead of tabs) of the first word of a paragraph.
  • I also did the scene break-ups with three stars at the very beginning of the line (instead of centered in the middle of the line)
  • Single Space after periods.
I got all these tips from the following blog:

And then I printed it out.  So instead of 257 pages, it is now 237 pages.

I then collected all the critique partner notes and transferred them into the manuscript.  My thinking - I have a critique partner and several critique groups I go to.  I figured I'd get all the notes down and do all the changes at once.  Also, it is a good time to see if what some people say needs fixing is fine with other people.  If more than one person says it, you know it is a real problem (caveat:  it is YOUR work.  You have veto power!  Don't give in if you feel strongly about something).  It was good to go through all the notes because you get a good overall sense of what works, what doesn't and what your weakness(es) is/are.

But I did a bad thing when I was tranferring the notes.  I read the work beginning to end.  And I realized I have a lot more fixing to do beyond the critique partner notes. 

So I went around and read what I could find  on how writers revise/edit and decided to do my own series of posts as well (since everyone seems to have their own method).  Mine I'm just making up as I go along.  I'll tell you if I think I wasted my time.  So here's my 'Day One':
1) Format for ease of editor/reviewer to read.  (I should probably do this at the end next time, but it cut 20 pages off of what I printed so it was an eco-friendly thing... ha!)
2) transfer in your multiple critique partner notes to your main hard copy.

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