ANSWERS: Editing & Revising

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1. How often should you update your outline when revising?

When revising, update your outline either after every scene or every chapter. If you've been revising your outline as you write, then it won't take long to be sure that it reflects the novel you've written. Each scene should be described in a single line or two.

2. What should you consider before you begin revising?

Is anything missing? This question leads to questions like these:

• Is your protagonist's overall arc convincing, or does it require more development?

• Does the end of the story come too quickly?

• Do some scenes need more development?

• Do some subplots in your novel need more fleshing out?

• Could more be done with secondary characters?

• Could some themes in your story be given more attention?

3. When is it finally time for some fine-tuning and polishing?

When you've addressed all the big issues in your manuscript, given it to still another batch of advanced readers to confirm that your plot and characters are working, then it's time to pull out the microscope and examine it up close. Expect to go through your manuscript at least three times to get the job done.

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