Manuscript review, the second step in creating a novel

I posted this video over on YouTube. It talks about how to start revision and how to avoid the ABSOLUTE rules that don’t really work. While I was putting it together, I realized there was a step missing. Manuscript review is really the first step.

Manuscript Review when does it start?

It’s tempting sometimes to want to jump into the manuscript review as soon as you’ve finished the first draft. This happens because of many things, but often the author is so excited about the story, they just want to keep working on it.

The best advice I can give is to put your draft aside for a while. You need distance to be able to see the gems and the weaknesses of the work. And there will be gems. And there will be weaknesses. How long? That depends. I work on more than one book at a time. Doing so allows me to get distance from the first draft in a couple of weeks. The new story takes it’s place at the front of my mind.

If you aren’t working on another book, you might need 6 weeks, you might need 3 months, before you can start your manuscript review with a fresh eye.

Manuscript review – what is it?

It’s the pre-revision work. You read the manuscript from the first word to the last. You don’t change anything, but you can make notes – note the great writing as well as the holes.

By putting aside the revision, you allow your mind to be more critical. When you have to think about how to fix something, your mind will be less diligent about finding weaknesses.

Your inner editor revels in the manuscript review stage. The voice that you silenced while writing the draft is your most powerful ally in finding what needs fixing.

If you want to learn how to write a book your way, check out my course by clicking on the image below.

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