Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Paper in the revision process

I just submitted the final version of my non-fiction to Who Dares Wins Publishing. These past few months I’ve been buried in revision mode. First, with my non-fiction, ‘How to Care for a Special Needs Dog’ and also with my YA fantasy. There are many tools for writers. I wrote both of these manuscripts in Scrivener. Although I was very pleased with the usefulness of Scrivener, in my opinion nothing will replace the power of pen and paper.

During my writing process I read through my non-fiction countless times. I wanted to check for the obvious errors. I also wanted to verify that the right tone was getting across. However, I was amazed at the little things that I found after I printed it out and went through my final read through. Nothing specific, but I was able to see things that I didn’t before.

By having those pages physically in my hands I felt slightly disconnected from the manuscript. I became the reader, not the writer that I always was sitting in front of my computer screen. I read it from the reader’s perspective and because of this I don’t think the pen and paper will ever be absent from my revision process, no matter how many nifty gadgets are developed for writers.

As a soon-to-be author, it also gave me a boost. After putting so much thought, research and work into the manuscript it now felt like a book. Being a writer is hard. That is why you have to love the craft. So take the little “happy dance” moments when you can. I’m on deadline for some other projects but I have promised my husband that I will celebrate after release week.

How do you revise? Do you also print out that final read through?


  1. Yes, definitely celebrate. Oh and when I revise I print out a copy and have it bound. It feels more real that way and gives the excitement up--it looks so real :-)

  2. Submission to publication is definitely a cause for celebration and you are right. Sometimes you need a different perspective on your work to see the errors and oddities. Sometimes it's pen and paper, sometimes its spoken aloud, sometimes it's just a fresh day. It's usually a fresh day for me until I hit a roadblock. If something doesn't seem right, I read it aloud until it hits me.