A Radical Approach to Revision

I’m adopting a new approach to my revision.  It’s not “new” in the sense that no one has ever used it before, but it is not how I have ever worked on revising before. It’s labor-intensive, but it’s thorough. It’s also my own fault.

I lost my thumb drive.

It looked a lot like this one. My whole book was saved on that thumb drive, and it was backed up to yet another one that looked like this:

Mine was blue – it got a virus. Crash. Unusable.

The good news is that I had printed a hard copy of the whole thing a while ago.  Revisions had been made since the copy was printed, but at least I didn’t lose the entire book. Now, I sit with the hard copy and retype page-by-page. 

It’s actually not as bad as it sounds.

As I’m reading along, I find passages that I really love, and I find sections that need reworking.  I know there are a lot of writers who choose to do their revisions this way.  I’ve always just pulled the story up on the computer, scrolled through, looked for specific items, and asked for input from my critique group.  Now, I’m rereading the entire manuscript from beginning to end.

It’s fun.

It’s like reliving the original journey all over again. I get to experience the characters as I created them, not as I remember creating them.  It’s a different kind of connection, and though I was originally very disturbed by the thought of recreating this entire manuscript, I’m finding it to be a delicious and meaningful method. 

I plan to do this on purpose from now on.


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