In November I challenged myself to write a novel in one month and LUNADAR: HOMEWARD BOUND was born. In December I challenged myself to create an early reader chapter book series based on historical events and now I'm researching book three. In January I have challenged myself to participate in ReviMo hosted by the talented Meg Miller (http://megmillerwrites.blogspot.com/) where I will revise a number of picture books, chapter books, and maybe even a page or two of my novel by the end of this upcoming week. As writers, some of us may think we can create the perfect masterpiece the first time we lay fingers to keyboard, but for the rest of us, we know where there's writing there's revisions.
You can either play it safe and do a quick once-over before you say revisions are done or you can give your manuscript the actual 1-2-3 punch it needs to give it the best chance to attract the attention of an agent or publisher.
PUNCH ONE...STANDING ON YOUR HEAD
One way to revise your story is by changing how you view things. You don't really have to stand on your head to look at things in a new way. Change the setting. Pick an alternate point of view. Even write a new beginning. Lying on the floor will give you another view of the world so why not stand your manuscript on it's head and see what you can see differently from down there?
PUNCH TWO...PLAYING WELL WITH OTHERS
Solitaire may be a game best played alone but when it comes to writing, it's not as solitary an endeavor as one might think...or at least it shouldn't be. If you have taken the time to become friends with other writerly types you have access to potential critique partners. Two sets of eyes can catch a lot of things going wrong with a story but twelve sets of eyes might even be better. Taking the time to cultivate CP relationships gives your manuscript its best chance of becoming polished perfection.
PUNCH THREE...BECOMING EDWARD SCISSORHANDS
Don't you love it when Edward Scissorhands takes the time to create those beautiful ice sculptures? He's not afraid someone might laugh at him. He's not worried about the outcome because he's confident the end result justifies what it takes to get there. Don't be afraid to leave unnecessary words on the cutting room floor. Don't hesitate to kill one of your darlings or even rewrite the entire first chapter of your manuscript if that's what it takes to make that baby shine!
No one ever said writing would be easy. No one ever said the path to publication was lined with simple solutions to achieve that coveted book contract. But then, again, no one's ever said we writers aren't fabulous WORD WARRIORS capable of executing perfect prose if we put our minds to it, so grab your story and treat it to a 1-2-3 punch of success!