The problem with revising? Keeping our eyes fresh when reading our manuscripts each time. After the third or fourth read-through, we can't help but skim problem areas. They become all but invisible. And while I always advise waiting a minimum of two weeks between finishing the first draft and starting revisions, we don't have the luxury to wait weeks between each revision pass.
Photo by foxtongue
The tricks I use aren't new. I found them from other writers. But they're worth repeating because they work.
Three Tricks to Keep Your Eyes Fresh When Revising:
1. Save your manuscript in a new file, single-space it, choose a new font, and change the size of the font. Print it out and read it.
2. Mentally read the book in first person if you wrote it in third person or vice-versa. This helps with point of view. You'll notice where characters see things they shouldn't, and it will help you find holes in your writing.
3. Read the manuscript out loud.
After I work through the major revisions (plot, character, pacing, and so forth), I use all three tricks, in order, with every manuscript. Sure, it takes extra hours, but by the time I'm reading the book out loud, I've eliminated most of my repeat words/phrases, tackled point-of-view issues, and am confident the book is ready to submit.
What tricks do you use to keep your manuscript fresh when revising?
Have a fabulous Monday!