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  • Writer's pictureDonna Carbone

Editing & Revision: The Advice You Didn’t Know You Needed, Episode 021

You’ve heard it said that a first draft anyone writes is a story they tell themselves. Seldom, if ever, is the first draft ready for any reader’s eyes, especially not an agent or publisher. So, how do you get a draft ready to be read by anyone besides the writer? This is where editing and revision comes in. This episode addresses various stages and techniques for piecing your manuscript into a cohesive whole.


“The difference between a published writer and an unpublished one might be their ability to revise.” Courtney Maum

Stages of editing:


Copy/Line edit


Put distance between yourself & your manuscript before beginning the revision process.

Methods of revision:


Creating a beat sheet

The Backwards Outline (nod to Jeni Chapelle, editor)

Backwards vs. forward editing/outlining


Color-coding problem scenes: showing, telling, dialogue (for example)

Nuts and bolts:

Structure (3 or 5)

Word count


Crutch words & echoes


Passive Voice

Showing vs. telling

Every scene must have a purpose

Working with a Critique Partner:

Develop a list of questions (focusing on problem points)


“Getting it Right: Learning to Revise,” Before and After the Book Deal, Courtney Maum (process and methods, such as writing groups and critique partners)

Save the Cat Writes A Novel, Jessica Brody (structure)

Story Genius and Wired for Story, Lisa Cron (structure and character development)

The Thesaurus Collection by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi (showing vs. telling)

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression

The Conflict Thesaurus, The Emotional Wound Thesaurus

Launch Pad: The Countdown to Writing Your Book, Emma Dhesi, Grace Sammon

(finishing touches)

On Writing, Stephen King (2nd half: on making writing concise)


TRY at least one of the revision methods you learned today; see if that helps your story come together more fluidly.

Hope Gibbs, author of Where the Grass Grows Blue

Donna Norman-Carbone, author of All That is Sacred & Of Lies and Honey


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