You’ve written a piece–a chapter, a scene, the introduction to your book. Now, having set it aside for a while, it’s time to revise.
Here’s a three step process to help you revise until you have a polished piece.
Step 1: Think Big. Read back over your piece and then reflect: What is this about? Write one or two sentences, no more, to give the big view (overall essence) of this section of your book. Your answers might read something like: to introduce the concept of “forgiveness” as a spiritual principle; to ratchet up the tension between this character and this one; to teach a specific technique.
Step 2: Think Medium. Now you’re stepping into your piece for a closer view. Given what you wrote in Step 1, is there anything in the piece that doesn’t forward your agenda? Go through and highlight any phrases, images, or dialogue that don’t meet your overriding criteria.
Step 3: Think Small. Now that you’ve cleared your piece of some serious clutter, it’s time to do the dusting! Go through each of your sentences and ask, “Are there any adjectives, repetitions, or needless verbiage I can eliminate?
When you’re done, compare your initial piece with your edited one. What do you notice?
Please share your results here with our Write the Damn Book community.