There’s no argument that the romance writing process is highly individualized. Some people write in a very structured manner, typing for an hour each day or working until they complete their word count goal. Others go on writing binges where they write for hours or days straight and then also have long dry periods where they may not write a word.
Some romance writers plot and plan every single detail before they ever start writing their manuscript while others, who call themselves “pantsters”, write by the seat of their pants. They just sit down and start typing out a story.
The Revision Process Is Just As Individualized.
You may sweep through your romance manuscript and make all the necessary changes in one pass. You may break down the process and make ten passes through your manuscript, each time focusing on a new step, dialogue for example.
You may dedicate a specific amount of time each day to your revision process or you may sit down and complete it all in one chunk of time. You may decide to revise 3 chapters a day, 100 pages a day, or for an hour a day.
So How Do You Create The Right Revision Plan for You?
There are three keys to any successful revision plan. They include:
- Measurable goals
- Structured time
- A process or a checklist
Measurable Goals – The biggest goal to set here would be a deadline for having your romance manuscript polished. A general rule of thumb, though you may be much more motivated and really amp the revision process, is to spend as much time revising your manuscript as you did writing it in the first place. There is plenty of wiggle room here because if you had a whirlwind writing session and wrote your book in a week, it may very likely take longer to revise and polish it. However, it’s a place to start.
Other measurable goals include smaller goals like a page count per day or a revised word count per day. This strategy may seem restrictive however; it really helps you push through those days when you don’t feel so motivated.
Structured Time – You know what time of day you’re most productive, creative and energetic. This is the best time of the day to write and it’s the best time of the day to revise. Schedule your romance writing into each and every day and try to schedule it during your best time of the day.
A Process/Checklist – There are many phases to revising your romance novel. You want to make sure:
- Your scenes are fleshed out
- Your characters are consistent
- You use the 5 senses as appropriate
- Your dialogue works
- Your sentence structure varies
- Your pace, tone and POV are all appropriate for the scene
And so on….
Your revision checklist will reflect this. How you organize your checklist and structure your revision process is up to you. You may combine several elements or you may give your romance manuscript 20 passes, each time looking at a new element.
Here’s a sample RevisionChecklist. It’s recommended to use this as a guideline for creating your own process customized to fit your style, goals and writing process.
Revising your romance novel is a required step to get it ready for publication. Make it easy on yourself and create a process that fits you.