Revisions, Revisions, Revisions

I read a few months ago that most writers and books undergo 5 or 10 full revisions during the full production or writing process.

I thought to myself, “HA, no way I will rewrite my story 5 times.”

Well…I’ve been working on redoing Splattering Yet Endearing Part 1, even though I am actually in the middle of writing Part 3. This is because multiple beta readers have pointed out that they got extremely confused when reading Part 1. (So much so that none of them wanted to read beyond the hook…the first 5,000 or 10,000 words.)

So, I have spent the last 10 days rereading Part 1 to fix up the confusing scenes, the confusing verb tense and make it clear almost all the time what’s going on.

Here’s the reality: It is extremely hard to do a complete edit with one or two complete readings. When I read, I have to try to think of all the following:

  • Can I comprehend what is going on in the scene?
  • Is the writing smooth? Does it flow well?
  • Is there proper character development or traits on display?
  • Does the dialogue flow?
  • Does the dialogue further the story?
  • What clothes are they wearing?
  • What time is it?
  • What’s the weather?
  • Does the writing flow well not only from word to word or sentence to sentence, but paragraph to paragraph and page to page?
  • Are there any grammatical or spelling errors?
  • Is the weather, time, clothes, specific details etc., consistent in the current scene compared to the last scene?
  • Does this scene accomplish it’s intended goal for the overall plot, if any?
  • Are there good descriptions of actions, the environment and objects?

So if you try to do all that in one reading, alone, probably going to miss at least one if not half of this stuff.

On top of that, the idea of “good flow” or a “good scene” can change over time. I have rewritten scenes a few times over the course of a year or two because I got better at descriptions or tension or whatever over time. What I thought was good a year ago is trash today, lol.

Hopefully now, you can see, why it is important to do multiple revisions. In my case, I kind of just have to because there is so much to check! As a writer, you are responsible for places, worlds, lives…thoughts, emotions, consistency, motivations………a lot.

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