WellÂ done to everyone who has just completed a first draft of a book. Take time to congratulate yourself and enjoy the moment. However, before you sit back and completely relax, itâ€™s time to make some important revisions.
Making revisions to a novel that may have taken endless hours to write might seem completely daunting, but the key is to break this process down into stages. A good place to start is looking out for our friend Mr Obvious.
You may not know how to spot Mr Obvious, butheÂ is often present and below are some places where you might see him:
- Do you really need to tell the reader that one of your characters is feeling sad or happy? Trust your writing ability to convey these emotions without actually stating it.
- Have you repeated yourself in order to get a point across? Does the narration make the same point over and over again in the same paragraph, page or chapter? If so, delete some of these points.
- Are there any obvious spelling or grammatical mistakes? You donâ€™ need to worry about the finer details for now, simply pick out the glaring mistakes and amend those.
- Does it read well? Read your story out loud to see if there are any obvious mistakes with the tone of voice or wording. Do you repeat a particular word too often? Do you always use proper names for people instead of â€˜heâ€™, â€˜sheâ€™ or â€˜theyâ€™?
You first revision should be a quick read through looking for any obvious mistakes. This will make the rest of the process much more manageable and not nearly so overwhelming. A professional editor and proofreader will be able to make any final amendments with regards to style, facts, tone of voice, spelling and grammar; however spotting obvious mistakes will save time and money in the long run.