I'm not doing NaNoWriMo this year. My priority this November is Revision.
I am in awe of Karol Silverstein whose first draft of Cursed was impeccable. Kate's Hero is in fifth draft. I used NaNo last year to do a revision during which I lost the first forty pages of a previous revision and re-wrote extensively to make up for that loss..
I sent it out to a beta reader feeling o-so-proud and found I had a lot more revising to do.
Plus I have another ms in second draft.
My Revision Steps
I followed Char’s list: What I found:
Read your book out loud. Yup. Sit at your computer or print out a copy. It's amazing what I discover when I perform this step. (You will have to print another copy after you read your story out loud and the odd blooper or shaky writing shows up. Which I why I prefer to do the read-aloud at the computer.)
Print out a fresh hard copy. Put it in a binder. Make a title page. Write a great blurb (or put the name of an author you love and pretend you are reading their book.)
Read like a reader. Take minimal notes. Fight the urge to edit
- Smiley face: Like it a lot
- Check mark: Story Dragging
- ( ): Clunk writing. Metaphors they don't work. Sentences that don't make sense.
- O : Material missing.... Transition point? Explanation?
- ? : What was I thinking? I am Confused!
Now I make notes for myself.
What, if anything did I find missing?
Did I stay in POV? (I am currently on a POV edit on my fifth draft.)
At what point could a busy editor put my book aside and not come back to it?
What do I need to change to make it compelling?
Now you are ready for the next draft. Rewrite according to the new story. (Please let this be the definitive draft.)