The Writing Process: Revising or Falling Apart

“Every now and then I fall apart.” Bonnie Tyler, Total Eclipse of the Heart

Plotholes are as thick on the ground as leaves in the fall.

Characters say and do things they wouldn’t.

The whole thing’s FALLING APART!

No, it’s behaving exactly like a first draft in the cold light of morning.

Never fear. The Writer is here.

Yes, that’s you. Take your head out from underneath that pillow!

Just like writing, revising is brute force. It’s hard work.

It might even take longer than writing did.

To give you an example, I wrote the first draft of Wounded Bride in about six days. It took me two years to revise it.

Plotholes can be fixed. Characters’ words and actions can be changed. There is nothing that cannot be repaired. Grammar and spelling can be put right. Punctuation marks can be inserted or removed. Clunky, awkward sentences can be changed and reordered to make polished, professional paragraphs.

In time, your first draft can blossom and become your second, third, or tenth draft — whatever it takes to finish the book and make it publishable.

How do you revise? There are many ways. One is to read over your manuscript and make notes in a separate document about what needs to be changed. That way, if you realize you don’t need to change something after all, you’ve only written a note, and can simply delete it. A big-picture read is also a great way to spot plotholes.

For more on fixing plotholes, please check out How to Overcome the Fear of Plotholes in Your Fiction.



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