After all these years, I finally have one novel revised enough to submit. That’s quite an accomplishment, for me. I never understood as I was writing it how intense my revision experience would be. I’ve been over that manuscript six times now. For most of the first year I was afraid to look at it!
When I did – I read the first chapter to my teenage son, and he made several suggestions immediately. I implemented them during the first revision. I tend to let a manuscript rest between revisions. My mindset resists burnout in this way. Once I actually start a revision it goes fairly fast — I manage to do about one chapter daily, and with twenty chapters, this one took me about a month to revise each time. I always enjoyed re-reading the story!
It wasn’t until the third revision that I got brave and creative by deleting big chunks of text. I had to get a handle on the art of perfecting by cutting down. This helped me bring the manuscript from 51K to 46K which is a much better length, I think, for an upper middle grade or early young adult novel.
I want to thank my writing friends in the Silverweb critique group for their help in critiquing this novel. Thanks Beverly, Jennifer, Nancy, and Norma! Thanks also, Jeannie of the Literary Dreams group… who did a final read-through and edit. Your insights helped a lot!