Sunday, April 8, 2018

Five Stages of Revision

Every author, no matter how talented they are, can benefit from constructive criticism. This is especially true for new writers who are still developing their skills, but even professional authors need help seeing the problems with their manuscript.

Feedback is important.

At the same time, hearing that your precious manuscript is flawed is never easy. For a writer who's already spent months or even years on a project, realizing that you need to do major rewrites can be downright heartbreaking.

You can do it, but you may need a little encouragement. Some laughter couldn't hurt, either. Hopefully, the following will give you a little of both.

The Kubler-Ross model was created to describe the emotions we go through when faced with death and loss, but after struggling to edit my manuscript, I realized it could fit the revision process pretty well, too.

Denial: I don’t really need to change this. It’s fine. Every story has plot holes. So what if mine does, too? It’s fine. Really. No one will even notice.

Anger: It’s not fair! There are successful books that have bigger issues than this, but the reviewers will never let me get away with it. And how dare anyone suggest I change a word of my perfect manuscript? It's not my fault if some people don't understand it. Did they even read it carefully?

Bargaining: What if I just make this other change instead? That’ll be good enough, right?

Depression: I’m never going to be able to fix this. I should just give up. On this manuscript. On writing. On everything. I’ll never be a successful author.

Acceptance: It’ll take some work, but I can fix this.

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