Rewriting: How to Make
The Chore Easier

So you've finished your first draft. Now it's time for rewriting.

Don't groan. It doesn't have to be that bad. But it does have to be done. And done well. If you don't feel up to the task alone, you can hire help to guide you or do it for you. But before you do that, read on to see what your options are.

Step By Step: The Do It Yourself Method

Once the rough draft of your novel is complete, the first thing you need to do is take a break from it.

Yup. It's time for some time off. At least from that novel. If, like me, you have other ideas boiling out of you, pursue one or more of those. Just get away from the draft you recently completed for awhile. I recommend a couple weeks, anyway.

Then, begin revising. This needs to happen in steps. A novel is a huge project. And trying to do every step of editing needed in one fell swoop will leave you with a mess (and a headache, likely).

So when you're ready to start, go to my edit a novel page and download the free step by step editing checklist to guide you through the process. From large picture to minutia. Only then is it time to think about publishing.

Hold my Hand: The Do It With Me Method

If you get bogged down with that editing checklist (it's really long, after
all), you can look for help to guide you along the path of editing your manuscript. This might be a writer's group you belong to, where you can submit sections of your book for other's opinion.

I don't know if you can get a complete manuscript critique from such a group, so if not, you may want to search out a service that offers such. This will give you editing notes for the entire novel - at least if that's how the service works. You may find you get an overall critique of format and structure and no detailed ideas of what to edit or how.

You can also look for a professional editor that will give you detailed feedback on changes that will improve your novel's plot, characters, structure and more. A writing mentor might also help you through
this process.

I Don't Wanna: The Do It For Me Method

If you aren't up to the monumental task (yes, it is big, but I think it's fun) of doing a complete rewrite of your novel, you can hire the work out. I recommend you ask for a brief sample edit before committing yourself to anything like this, though. You still need the novel to sound like yours, not someone else's.

Editing services may offer such a rewrite. Or they may only offer critiques. Do your research into the service, either way, to be sure you're getting what you need and are paying for.

No matter how you decide to do your revising, don't skip doing it, and doing it thoroughly. Otherwise, your book won't sell as well as it should. Make it shine with a bit of spit and polish, and you'll be leagues ahead of the lazy folk.

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