My Foolproof Way to Revise Your Manuscript

Revisions…yucky. My last major revisions came out looking like this:

20120801-223308.jpg…Fun Zapper

And revisions like that can take forever!  Yes, I did get a lot of critical things changed but in the end, I was so tired that it took me forever to type them into the computer.

However recently I heard about this new thing called revising via your Kindle.  At first I was like, no way!?…that doesn’t really work.  Then I tried it:

kindle version

First of all seeing your manuscript on a Kindle is the coolest thing…second to seeing it in print, I bet.  As I heard my story through my headphones I started to tear up, like a little baby (without the obnoxiously loud cries).  I was in heaven.

…at least for a few minutes.  Until I realized boy did my manuscript have a lot of teeny tiny errors that I never would’ve caught by editing it on paper or even reading it aloud (because often, with your own work, your eyes glaze over things or put in what you know is supposed to be there).

OMG I’m 1/3 of the way done and I have already fixed so many minor inconsistencies that no one who has read my book to date, has caught.  Not because my beta readers or critique partners weren’t good enough (they’re amazing!!!) but because the errors were so tiny that unless you wrote the book (or knew everything about it), you probably wouldn’t have caught it.

After all…the funny little man, speaking on my Kindle, does not lie.

Things I’ve caught thanks to using my Kindle’s Text-to-Speech option

  • things that were still in the story from earlier plot lines (I thought I had erased)
  • rando quotation marks
  • duplicate lines
  • things way out of my characters’ character
  • too much hinting
  • other rando crap

So that brings me to my next point…how do you know if your manuscript is ready to queryit passes a Kindle (other ereaders probably have this too) text-to-speech read-through…aka, mine wasn’t (*head-desk*).

Yes.  I want to punch myself in the face.  However, for now, I think continuing listening to my story and fixing these errors all day, is punishment enough.

–Now I’m sure there are other great ways to revise, (after all “silly-error free” books have been being published for years) this just works best for me.  If you have any other great ways to revise, I’d love to hear them (in the comments section, below) 🙂

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

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14 thoughts on “My Foolproof Way to Revise Your Manuscript

  1. I have done this AFTER several rounds of edits myself, a handful of beta readers, line edits from select beta readers, AND a professional proofreader, and I still found stuff with this method after all that. It works!

    • Thanks for sharing Erica…I’m happy to know this has worked well for you in the past. I’ve picked up so many errors it’s crazy…I just can’t believe I missed all of this stuff in previous rounds.

  2. The printed copy always works well for me, but I think anytime you look at it in a format that isn’t where you wrote it helps. Sending it to a google doc and editing in there has been a nice change of pace. I think I’ll try to speech to text after I’m done with my current round of revisions.

    • You’re right about that…it can just be refreshing to put it in any different format. I love the text to speech but I don’t think I’ll stop printing it out and editing anytime soon, at least for the first draft I think that works best!

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