Friday, January 20, 2023

Revision Checklists--Super Handy Tools for the Final Stages of Your Book Project

I'm reprinting this post from 2012 because I get more questions about it than almost any other. Enjoy!

This month, my novel-in-progress reached a new level: final revision.

Only a few steps remain before it's ready to send off. These final steps are key: If they go well, the "whole" becomes much bigger than the sum of its islands, or parts.

Most writers feel a sense of urgency at final revision. As the book comes into its own, you can see the good objectively. You've been asking yourself, Is it publishable? for a while. Now you can answer with a hopeful YES!

And this urgency is the danger zone in final revision. We are understandably impatient: It's been a long haul. Get it done, already!

Shortcuts look tempting. Skip a few steps, get it out the door into other hands. Contact that agent, editor, publisher--now! Capture their attention--before your courage flies away or the publishing window closes.

As a professional editor for over twenty years, my job was to put the brakes on--calm the over-eager writer, and remind them what's at stake. What do you stand to lose, if you rush through these final steps?