For many writers, completing a first draft feels like reaching the summit of a mountain. It's a great achievement! Next comes the important task of revision - refining raw ideas into polished prose. Here are some tips to help with this phase of writing:
Take A Break
First tip - take a break after finishing your draft. Don't look at it for a few days, or even longer. With fresh eyes, you'll see your story more objectively.
Begin with the bigger picture. Evaluate the flow of your plot. Identify any plot holes, pacing issues, or redundant scenes and address them. This high-level revision ensures your story remains engaging from start to finish.
Characters drive stories. Scrutinise your characters' motivations, arcs, and interactions. Ensure they are multidimensional, consistent, and contribute meaningfully to the narrative.
Paint vivid scenes, but avoid over-describing. Leave room for the reader's imagination.
Trimming and Tightening
Every word should serve a purpose. Eliminate fluff, redundant phrases or any elements that don't enhance the story. Precise, concise writing often has the most impact.
It's amazing what you catch when you hear your story.
Get External Feedback
Invite writing group members or friends to review your work. Fresh perspectives can pinpoint areas you might have missed and offer invaluable insights.
After addressing broader issues, focus on the details. Check for spelling, grammar, and syntax errors. Consider using grammar-checking software, but trust your instincts too.
Embrace the Process
Remember, every edit brings you closer to the best version of your story. Approach this phase with patience and persistence, and watch your story evolve into a masterpiece.