Easy to Follow Tips to Revising a Novel

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April 23, 2016

Many writers are torn on the process of revising a novel. More often than not, it’s not really an easy task to begin, and may perhaps be even more frustrating than writing the story itself! Luckily, here are some tips to look into.


Successful authors and novelists with LitFire’s marketing manager, Richard Stephens (left), during the Tucson Festival of Books 2016.


Take Advantage of These Tips When Revising a Novel

Revising your novel is an important part of the process. You can’t just send your finished manuscript right away before even doing some edits and making changes here and there. Revising a short story may seem easy enough, but revising a novel manuscript takes much more time and effort.


Revising a novel
The process of revising can be frustrating. But with the right idea in mind, it can be made easier. | Image source: Flickr


If you’re having trouble revising fiction stories that you truly want to be perfect before having anyone read them, it’s always a good way to follow tips from various sources. Fortunately, here’s a little guide for you!

  1. Prepare a revising checklist

Having a checklist beside you will help you keep track of the essential things you first need to revise before anything else. First thing you need to consider in your checklist is the general flow of the plot. Then, you can move on to reminding yourself of errors and word count, which are both vital to writing a novel. At the very least, you’ll get the basics to improving your novel.

  1. Reread . . . and reread

You may ask yourself, “How many times do I need to go over my work when editing my book?” You can’t exactly polish your manuscript in one go. There may be some errors and inconsistencies that you’ll miss. It’s best to go over your work. It’s a common error for authors not to reread their work. Rereading is most important in self-publishing, since you won’t have an in-house editor of a traditional publisher to review your manuscript.



  1. Have a beta reader

Many self-published authors would take the time to talk to their friends or colleagues about the book they’ve written. This is good practice, especially when asking for feedback. Surely, there are friends you can approach, but why not go the extra mile and go for those whom you barely know?  For certain, you’ll get impartiality that way.

novel revision
Jot down more thoughts during the revision process as they may improve the novel as a whole. Image source: Flickr


  1. Take some time off it

A great technique to adopt when editing a manuscript is to leave your manuscript for a week or two before starting revisions. If you do the revisions right after getting your manuscript done, you’ll still feel fresh from writing and miss all the errors that plague your work. Get your mind off things and relax before getting back to work!

  1. Hire an editor

If you still find the job of revising too difficult for you, or if you’re frustrated with the many errors you see, why not hire an editor? A professional editor can either look into the story’s development, advising you on what to change, or see to it that the manuscript is free of any stylistic errors. Check on book editor rates so you’d know how much of your finances you need to allocate.

Make sure that your story has a solid structure. Get these effective tips.


Don’t be afraid to make any modification on your novel! Revision still remains a crucial part when writing a book. Fixing your novel, checking for any correction in your writing, and other factors will help you learn how to revise better. When you’re ready, you can then get started with the revision process!

P.S. Refine your skills in writing dialogues with these convenient methods. Check these out.


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