Working on Revisions

After I got the call I was sent another revision letter. It was a mix of overarching notes on the story (things the editors want clarified or changed) and specific thoughts on different pages.

The overarching notes were a little overwhelming at first. I had to sit and think about them. So I did the page edits first because I knew when I went in to fix other stuff it would change the page numbers. I'm almost done with my revisions and am pretty sure I'll have them in by deadline, which is so freaky (the fact that I have a deadline, eeek!) I can barely believe it.

Is there a certain way you'd handle revisions? Do you use any kind of organizational tools like Excel?

For a great, in-depth post on handling revisions on a contracted story, check out Jody Hedlund's post.


Jessica Bell said…
I just make sure I get an even amount done every day until the deadline :-/ Good luck!
Terri Tiffany said…
I'm so excited for you and love reading about what the process is for you!!
Lisa Jordan said…
Jessica, who is your editor? Mine is Melissa. Love her!

When I received my revision notes, I had about 8 changes to make--a few took seconds and others took several hours. I know future books will have many more changes, I'm sure.

For me, I did the easy ones first, then pondered the more challenging ones. I did not use a spreadsheet or anything like that. I'm not even sure how I would use one.

So excited for you!
Stephanie Faris said…
Generally I read the overarching stuff first, which my agent always puts in the body of the e-mail, then start at page one and re-read the entire ms., fixing the line edits as I go. I also am fixing the overarching stuff as I go along, too, because often that changes things going all the way back to page one. Revisions are exhausting!!! But VERY rewarding, I've found. I feel this huge sense of accomplishment when I finish.
Linda Kage said…
Yeah, I've been overwhelmed by seeing all the revision requests. I can't look at the whole and have to work on one scene at a time or I start to get all panicky. Baby steps!
I tackle the little things first. I know it's backwards, but they are more manageable and once I get those out of the way I feel like I can conquer more.

Exciting stage for you.
~ Wendy
Katie Ganshert said…
Oh boy - I'm right there with you!
I have a post scheduled about my experience for Monday!
Wow! So exciting. I'd probably be overwhelmed too. Katie did a post not too long ago about how she revised. Very organized. I see she commented she was writing one for Monday.

Praying you meet deadlines and expectations! Yay!
Woohoo on getting the edits done on time! Proud of you, girlie. I usually just dive in at the beginning point and insert my changes along the way. That way I can fix any ripples that appear. I would def. do line edits the way you did, though. First, before the pages change. So exciting to be doing edits for an editor! :)
Loree Huebner said…
I'm with Wendy...little things first and get them out of the way.

Excited for you!
Jessica, I think that's a smart way to do it. :-)

Awww, thank you Terri! *hugs*

Hi Lisa, mine is Emily. I wouldn't know how to use a spreadsheet either but I think some others do that. 8 changes is pretty good! :-)
Stephanie, I totally agree that they're rewarding! Your process sounds good. Do they use track changes? Mine didn't, so I have to do page numbers first or everything shifts with the edits. lol

No panic allowed, Linda! ;-)

Good point, Wendy. I agree!

Oooh, Katie, I can't wait to read it!
Erica Vetsch said…
I just got a revision letter today, so I'm rolling up my sleeves and ready to dive in.

This one is going to take a bit more work than the last few, because I'm smack up against my word count and will need to take out as much as I put in.
Thanks for the prayers, Jessica! And yes, Katie strikes me as very organized too. Probably good qualities for a teacher to have. ;-)

Anita, dive is right! You don't mess around. LOL

Thank you Loree!
EEEk! Erica, that sounds challenging but I know you'll do it awesomely. :-)
Karen Lange said…
I'd do my revisions the same way, I'm thinking. Haven't tried Excel or anything else like that. If I do, I'll let you know. Congrats on making the deadline!
Deb Shucka said…
I'm so glad you're sharing your process with us, and I'm thrilled to get to experience this amazing success with you vicariously.
Laila Knight said…
How exciting for you! I hope I'm not the only one who thinks revisions are exciting. You're just that much closer at getting your book ready for publishing. And the more editors help polish the more amazing it'll be. My use of Excel has been limited to numbers and list making.
Sarah Forgrave said…
I tend to be a details-first kind of person, but I'm trying to switch it up this time. Once I finish drafting, I'm going to try and look at the big picture first. We'll see how long that lasts... :)
Excel is my nemesis. LOL I admire anyone who uses it well.

Deb, I can't wait to read your story, published! You're such a beautiful writer.

Laila, no, LOL, revisions are definitely exciting to me!

Sarah, I bet you'll do fine. If it's your own editing, def. do the big picture first. ;-)
Unknown said…
I print out my revision letter. I read it. I think about it (or pout about it :)) for a few days. I start tackling the easy changes to get my momentum going, and I slowly work my way up to the scary changes. When I'm finished I can see how necessary the changes really were. Good luck!
Anonymous said…
That makes perfect sense, doing the edits that have page numbers first! Plus then you had some smaller successes to help motivate you toward the big one, as well as time to think about how you'd address the overall story goals. Smart! I'll have to remember that if/when my time comes.
Warren Baldwin said…
I know it is stressful, but it still sounds cool, doesn't it; "deadline." Congratulations.
Julie, there are def. some I feel like pouting over but others I'm like, "why didn't I think of that?". LOL

Hey Anon, thanks for stopping by. ;-)

Oh yes, Warren, I LOVE having a deadline. It makes things so much realer to me, in a good way.
Caryn Caldwell said…
Oops! It listed me as Anonymous for some reason. The above comment was from me. :-)
I'm so proud of you!!
Nancy said…
Revisions mean that you have a story to get out there. What fun. You have a great attitude. I'm sure the overarching thing will fall into place just like the page by page fixes. You can do it. This is so exciting to learn the process from your experience.
Keli Gwyn said…
I trust the revisions are going well, Jessie. Two things I've learned are that I'm not a writer but a re-writer and that each editing pass makes my story better than it was before. =)
Unknown said…
Very exciting! I can't wait to buy my copy when it comes out.

My revision skills are very haphazard. And I'm gonna need them very soon. ;)
I would love to reach more Author and Novelists like myself. It can be a pain editing your work as you well know. I am a Christian soldier as well. Maybe you can visit my blog Believe me I do understand what you go through trying to get your writings just perfect. You are the first Writer I have been able to connect with.
Linda Glaz said…
You probably breezed right throught it. You do an awesome job with rewrites!
Lauren F. Boyd said…
Congrats on being at this stage in your writing career! How exciting (and I'm sure a bit stressful with a deadline!)

I've just had my first encounter with my editor at Highlights for Children magazine. It's for a short children's story - certainly not overwhelming, as I can see editing an entire book would be. My editor at the magazine edited my work and then asked me to proofread the first copy. I submitted my suggested edits, and I am eager to see which ones of them they use in the next round of editing.

And thanks for commenting on my FB page! Always good to see you!

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