Connect with Me on Facebook!

Posts from

Friday, March 7, 2008

First Round of Revisions Finished

Whew! The first round of revisions on my upcoming novel are finished, and I sent the updated manuscript off to Kregel on Feb. 28. Now it's time to wait and see if my improvements are enough. A second round of revisions may be forthcoming. For those unversed on how these revisions work (I was until I actually began going through the process myself), let me explain what revisions are. I wish someone had told me more about what's involved before I began the process, so I hope this information is helpful.

When a publisher accepts a novel for publication, they accept the big picture of the novel (the plot, the message, the characters, etc.). But that doesn't mean there aren't little loose ends here and there that need to be tied up. The revisions process is one of the first steps along the way before someone actually holds a copy of the novel in his hand. Basically, the revisions stage is all about typing up those loose ends. It's about clarifying details that may be confusing or adding more emotional nuance where a scene is lacking. Another author has said that a novel is never completely done. There's always something one could add or change, but at some point someone needs to draw a line in the sand and say, "This is when the novel is done." The publisher makes that call. After all, their name goes on the book too, so the product must represent them and their reputation. They decide when the novel is where they want it to be. If they feel a scene isn't as powerful as it ought to be and needs more work, they ask the author to change it.

For example, one character in my story appeared in a few scenes but didn't seem to connect to the main protagonists of my story as strongly she should have. She needed either to become more connected to the story or be cut out altogether. (I can't imagine the work needed to cut her out.) I needed to make her more involved in the story and with the main characters. She needed to have a bigger reason for being in the story other than a conversation or two. So I made her more involved. I integrated her into more scenes. I tied her relationship to the female lead more clearly. Another scene simply didn't seem necessary and didn't contribute much to the story, so I cut it in half and made it more important.

Other changes included clarifying police procedure details, fixing other details that were unclear, fixing boo-boos where my mind crossed the river without building a bridge, adding more emotion to a couple scenes, making dialogue feel more natural in a few spots. I welcome these changes because I realize I can't see everything by myself. Writing a novel is daunting enough. Keeping track of all the little details, especially in a shifting-viewpoint novel with lots of action and several plot threads, is next to impossible without the help of a committee. My attitude, therefore, is "I'm all for it to make the novel the best product it can be."

Hopefully, one round of revisions and a month of Saturdays are enough. But if another round of revisions is needed, I'm up to the task—all in the desire to make the novel even better. I'll keep you posted on what happens next.

I can announce that the novel is currently going through a title change. I won't lie about my initial dismay at receiving this news; my heart was so set on Now You See Him. But apparently (and amazingly) another suspense novel came out in January with the same title. So Kregel's marketing department and I are considering new titles. I'll let you know what the final title will be.

Another announcement: Kregel will officially announce the novel in August, and the release date will probably be in September. I have so much to do: set up my official author website, join the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers,, write the Reading Group Guide for my novel, write my own questions and answers for possible interviews, etc. May the Lord receive all the glory!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a lot of work to do revisions! It is necessary though! I was reading a book once where one of the characters was speaking with two others. The only problem was the author had earlier established that character #1 was out of town and wasn't with the other two!