Friday, December 12, 2014

Writing: Revising A Manuscript

Some writers have just completed the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge, writing a novel in a month. I've tried it but it doesn't work for me, but it does for lots of people.

For those participants in NaNoWriMo who have now completed writing their novel, the thought may be, "I've finished a book. Now to submit it." I have a bit of advice for you: "Don't...At least, not yet."

Few, if any, books are publishable in first draft form. Anne Lamott has something to say about this, and I agree with her. Most published authors revise and polish their work multiple times before submitting it. When I first started writing, one of the hardest lessons I learned was to revise, revise, revise while every fiber of my being was screaming submit, submit, submit. But it's a lesson worth learning.

If you're a writer, especially a pre-published one, you may or may not take this advice (I'm used to that--I have children), but it's here for what it's worth. Meanwhile, I have a question for you. How long should an author take to produce a good manuscript? How many drafts do you think are enough? I'd like to know.

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