The Five Stages Of Revising Your Novel

Kobo Writing Life

By Lisa M. Lilly

You’ve finished a first draft of your novel. Now what?

If you’re like most writers (including me), your draft includes points that require more research, scenes that trail off, plot holes, or all of the above.

Addressing every issue at once is overwhelming. The five steps below can organize and speed up your revision process.

Step One: Start With The Story

Once you’ve let your novel sit for at least a week, read it all the way through. Focus on your plot, asking yourself:

  • Is there conflict on page one?
  • Does the plot turn in a significant way at each quarter point in the novel?
  • Is your protagonist actively pursuing her goals?
  • Does your antagonist strenuously oppose your protagonist?
  • Does tension increase as the story progresses?
  • Do the events logically flow from one another?
  • Does your climax resolve the major plot issues and pay off emotionally…

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