The other day I told you my 30-day game plan for finishing the first draft of your novel. Except what if you’re revising a novel?
Well, luckily the process isn’t totally different. But there are a few things you’ll want to do before you follow the 30-day-finish-your-draft process.
1. Start Fresh Off A Break
A really important part of being able to revise your story objectively is to get enough distance from it before you come back to do the revisions. If you finish the first draft and then just jump into revisions, you won’t have fresh eyes and won’t properly be able to judge how good or bad it is.
The best way to get into a revision is to start off fresh.
Action Step: take at least 4-6 weeks away from your first draft before you attempt to revise in 30 days. Schedule it into your calendar and actually mark down the ‘start revisions’ date so you’re accountable to it.
2. Make A Plan For What Needs to Be Done
Before you can revise your draft, you have to first:
- Know what you have to work with
- Create a plan of attack for working with what you’ve got
You can follow this step-by-step revision prep process here, which will walk you through exactly what to do to create your revision plan.
Be sure to categorize your notes by what you need to work on: plot, characterization, description, conflict, etc. Knowing exactly what to look for as you’re revising will make the whole process go quicker (which is great for when you want to revise the entire draft in 30 days).
Action Step: put together your revision plan by going through the revision prep process and looking at your story as a whole (or you can grab my Story Revision Kit and have checklists and resources to make it all easier on yourself).
3. Create A Schedule Around What You Will Work On and When
Once you’ve got your revision plan ready to go, it’s time to pull out your calendar and figure out when you’ll work on each piece of your revision. Go back through your categorizations of what you need to work on (see step #2) and divide them up across 30 days.
For example, during week 1 of the 30 days, you can focus on plot improvements and then week 2 you can handle characterization and character arc. Week 3 could be for layering in description and then week 4 could be copyediting and proofreading before sending to your developmental editor for notes and feedback.
Action Step: grab your calendar and your revision notes and map out exactly what you’ll work on and when.
4. Follow All of the Steps from the How To Finish Your Novel in 30 Days Article
Before you officially start revising, be sure to go through the steps listed in the How To Finish Your Novel in 30 Days article and be sure to do all of them. You’ll need everything listed there to successfully finish your revision.
Action Step: go read the How To Finish Your Novel in 30 Days article and do all of the steps listed in it.
That’s how you get your novel revision finished in 30 days. But don’t just read this article, take action on it. Like right now. Today.
Write with a purpose, live with intention,