You’ve finished your manuscript. All the blood, sweat and tears you’ve poured into every word have been worth it and you’ve written THE END. Congratulations! Completing that first draft is a major accomplishment. Go ahead and celebrate, you deserve it. So many people never even reach that point.
But now---now comes the hard part. The word that can make writers' knees go weak. That word which can send a shudder down your spine. You know the one. Revision.
You’re beautiful piece of art must now be hacked to bits. Words---the very ones you sweat and bled over---must be cut or moved. Entire chapters might need to be jettisoned. So buckle down and get busy. Revision is not for the faint-hearted as I’m discovering myself. Try to look for the silver lining. Specifically, believe that revision will improve your manuscript. Truly, it will.
But how many revisions are enough? As with so many aspects of writing, this will vary from writer to writer and story to story. I’ve penciled in a minimum of three revisions and that’s before an agent or editor even views the manuscript.
What tips have you found when revising? How painful has the process been for you? How many revisions do you find yourself completing for each novel?