This blog chain topic was chosen by the lovely Sarah Bromley who wants to know:
How do you handle revisions? Do you revise as you're writing, or do you wait until you've gone through beta readers and crit partners to revise? How soon after you finish do you begin your revisions?
For me, it sort of depends on the project. Poetry, I revise immediately after finishing, sometimes before I've finished. Non-fiction, I only have one, sometimes two, crit partners read that stuff, and I usually revise as soon as they've read each chapter, while writing the next. But non-fiction is much easier for me to deal with, in general. It's not as personal, there aren't any plot holes or character developments, or "hard" stuff to fix. Revisions mostly consist of adding more or less explanations, rewording or reorganizing....stuff that isn't too difficult to do.
Fiction, ahhh yes, fiction. That's an entirely different story. Honestly, I'm still trying to find the revision technique that works best for me. I always go through something several times before I send it out to my crit partners. I'll generally go through a chapter the day after writing it and then let it sit for a day or so more before going through it again. And then I'll send it off, when it's as good as I can get it.
Once my crit partners have marked it up, I tend to want to fix something as soon as I know there's something wrong. However, I've discovered this doesn't always work well. Because my crit partners might mark up stuff in chapter three that I'll spend days revising only to find out that I need to cut the entire scene a couple weeks later because a revision in chapter seven changed the whole plotline.
So, for my new WIP, I am going to try and let the revisions wait until the whole book has been edited by my crit partners. And then, I'll go through chapter by chapter and see what needs to be done. It'll be hard to keep my OC tendencies in check, but dangit, I'm gonna try! :)
Be sure to check out Laura's answer from yesterday and swing by Shaun's tomorrow to see how he deals with revisions.
And speaking of Shaun, stay tuned next week for our Author Spotlight Week featuring him!! We'll be giving away signed copies of his book as well, so don't miss it!!