Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Best Revision Advice You'll Ever Receive

Okay, so the title of this blog is probably not true, but I just finished the latest round of revisions on my work-in-progress and sent it off to my Agent of Awesome (aka Suzie). And now I'm feeling very...practical. Yes, that's right. Rather than be on cloud 9, I'm more on cloud 3, also known as the "cloud of good job but we're nowhere finsihed with this manuscript yet."

So this blog should be titled the most pragmatic revision advice you'll ever receive.

Are you read? It's going to blow your mind, I promise.

Okay here it is:

Version Control

Yep, you should version your revisions. What do I mean by this? Well, when you write your first draft, label it something like "Super_Awesome_Novel_draft1. Then when you start your first revision, make a copy of draft 1 and label it "Super_Awesome_Novel_draft2." Make sense?

So why is this practical advice? Because it gives you a way to undo changes if you need to. Sometimes when I'm revising I realize that something I wrote in the first draft but deleted in the second would work really well in the third. This has actually happened in every novel I've ever written. Sometimes it's something as simple as a single turn of phrase or sentence, sometimes an entire scene. Either way, it's a great way to avoid duplicating work.

So there you have it. I guess the real title of this blog should be the most boring (but still useful) revision advice you'll ever receieve.

Happy Writing!


  1. This is actually very helpful because I am so guilty of just revising right over my old draft. But you are so right! Sometimes there are salvageable parts! I need to start doing this. Thanks!

  2. That's absolutely true! :D I have a bajillion versions of my manuscript actually lol. Most of them only have a few changes from one to another, but I like to keep a log of all the changes I do per session. It's... crazy, I know xD

  3. I agree! In fact, today I clicked through random versions and it was so much fun seeing how the opening page has changed over the last few months. I AM getting somewhere!

  4. Such good advice. I have loads of drafts of my novels but I didn't number them, so I'm constantly trying to work out which order they come in.

  5. Isn't it interesting that I never thought of labeling them 1, 2, 3 etc?!

    *bows down*

  6. Wow, so glad people are finding this helpful, or are already doing it. Yah!

  7. haha I could have used this advice about 8 manuscripts ago. Good post!

  8. Great advice. I have lots of versions too, because I do go back and use sections from earlier drafts.


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