Understanding Requested Revisions

  1. • Keep in mind that all opinions are subjective. Each critique partner, each reader, each agent and each editor sees a manuscript through their eyes and experiences.
  2. • Professionals (agents and editors) do not purposely make cruel and cutting remarks. It is not in their best interest. They want a property that they can produce and sell.
  3. • Comments and suggestions are generally made to help improve the manuscript to make it more saleable in the appropriate market. Remember, you may know your subject, but they should know the market better than you do.

Steps for Making Revisions

  1. • Set aside a solid block of time (or several blocks of time) to completely read through the edited manuscript received from an agent or editor.
  2. • Read it all, every comment and edit.
  3. • Set the manuscript aside for a week, two weeks, a month, or whatever it takes to be able to come back to it without being defensive.
  4. • While in your “cooling down” time, think over the major problem areas that were commented on and start thinking of ways to fix those areas.
  5. • Make a copy of the edited manuscript and set aside the edited one for future reference.
  6. • Rename and date the copy manuscript to work with in revisions.
  7. • If you use Microsoft Word, turn on “Track Changes.” Tracking changes from this point on will help keep you from introducing errors into the manuscript and not being able to undo them.
  8. • Fix the easy items first: grammar, punctuation, etc.
  9. • Fix the harder items next.
  10. • Make only the changes that you feel will best serve your story. But do not ignore all suggestions because you are feeling too defensive about your manuscript.
  11. • Take a second break after you finish the revisions, for only a few days.
  12. • Completely read the revised manuscript again.
  13. • Accept the tracked changes one by one. Do not rush through this step and possibly introduce more errors.


© 2011 Starla Kaye

The Smarts

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This website is the work of Starla Criser, an author who has published more than 50 stories, both traditionally and through self-publishing routes.