Editors’ Post-NaNo Tips for Revising Your Novel

This post by Corina Koch MacLeod and Carla Douglas originally appeared on Joel Friedlander‘s The Book Designer on 11/19/14.

It’s National Novel Writing Month, and if you’re participating in the festivities, you’re chained to your computer in an effort to blast out a 50,000-word first draft. Thanks for coming up for air to read this post!

When your draft is completed, you’ll need to revise it. And how you revise your writing will depend on

– your prewriting and planning style
– the kind of book you’re writing

But first, an explanation of what we mean by revise.


What is Revising?

The prefix “re” means again. To revise is to re-vision—to look at your writing again, hopefully from the perspective of a reader. To bring something new to your writing, you need to give it time to breathe. Revision involves waiting.

In How to Make a Living as a Writer, James Scott Bell recommends airing your writing for three weeks. That means sticking your NaNo draft in a drawer on November 30, and vowing not to look at it again until the winter solstice. If you take Stephen King’s advice, you’ll be pulling out that first draft on Valentine’s Day.

After the recommended period of rest, you’re ready to work on your first draft.


What’s Involved in Revising


Read the full post on The Book Designer.