Saturday, September 14, 2013

Not All Aspects of Revision Are One and the Same

The many aspects of revision, such as Redeveloping, Restructuring, Rewriting, Putting In, Taking Out, Editing, Copy Editing, Proofing, and Polishing, are not one and the same. Starting at an overall story developmental level, moving to structuring, the aspects of revision drill down until the writing blends into a seamless story flow.


Developmentally, a story must make sense. Is the plot plausible? Would a particular character really DO that? SAY that? Does how the character change from the beginning to the end of the story make sense? Too many POV characters? Too few?

Redevelopment takes into account the entire story, such as characterization, pacing, plot arc, etc. (Redevelopment can sometimes lead to a major overhaul of the story, resulting in a reworking of the entire manuscript.)


Restructuring a manuscript may involve adding or deleting chapters and scenes. Reordering existing scenes.

This process may also involve changing POV characters, increasing conflict, and emphasizing story plot points.


When a manuscript doesn't work, sometimes it's best to set it aside and start over. A rewrite is taking what didn't work into account and starting all over again.

A rewrite may also include culling pieces of the existing story to blend into the newer version.

Putting In

The process of Putting In involves reviewing the first draft and adding and fleshing out your story and words. Some authors write skeleton drafts and end up putting in quite a bit of material to fill in the story with more descriptions and additional details.

Taking Out

Other authors write expansive drafts, which include lots of description, backstory, and plot tangents, then once finished, go back through and take out the material not absolutely necessary to the story. This process involves a lot of trimming and streamlining.


During editing, verbs are ramped and strengthened, paragraphs are lengthened and shortened, scenes are tightened by fleshing out or streamlining paragraph, sentence, and word length. Repetitive words and phrases are eliminated and addressed. A thesaurus and dictionary come in to play. Reading aloud or listening to the manuscript read by a text to speech software comes in handy during this phase. This is the stage where the flow of the writing is addressed.

Copy Editing

Examples of copy editing include correcting punctuation and altering sentence structure to vary sentence beginnings. 


Final proofing involves catching any skipped words or punctuation during the copy editing phase.


Involves a final read through, back to front, of the manuscript, to catch any awkward phrasing or hitherto before unseen dropped words.

Kathy's Current Revision Status

Currently, Book #2 in in the Editing stage, while Book #1 is entering the Copy Edit phase.

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