Skip to main content

Footnotes: 8 Articles on When Writing Becomes Revision

"The most valuable of talents is never
using two words when one will do."
-Thomas Jefferson


Footnotes is a recurring series on the GLA blog where I pick a subject and provides several interesting articles on said topic. Today's topic is revision. As the NaNoWriMo induced writing stupor wears off, you realize it’s time to revise that opus. I’m serving up 8 links from around the web to help you tackle revisions.

Image placeholder title



1. Learn to ID your mistakes.
The Holt Uncensored blog includes 10 Mistakes Writers Don’t See, (but can fix when they do). The mistakes are common ones easily recognized by editor and agents—and now you can recognize them, too.

2. Map out your story. Award winning author Laurie Halse Anderson suggests taming that manuscript by mapping out the action, chapter by chapter, scene by scene.

3. Think of the beautiful finished product for motivation. Agent Mary Kole offers a pep talk to writers stymied by the revision process.

4. When is a manuscript "done"? Is it soup yet? On the Author 2 Author blog, they ponder the question, "When is a manuscript ready to be submitted?"

5. You only get one chance to make a first impression. This goes for your characters as well. Agent Sara Crowe confronts the question: Are your characters making a good first impression?

6. The pros talk revision. In her Fix-it Friday series, writer, Shari Green serves up weekly revision tips from published authors. Check them out! They may just be what you need to jumpstart your revisions.

7. Concerning critiques of your work. On the blog Constant Revisions, writer Simon Larter ponders the subjective nature of critiques, another necessary component to the writing and revision process.

8. The ultimate revision checklist. Agent Nathan Bransford's revision checklist is a great reference tool to use as you read your manuscript.

Image placeholder title

This guest series by writer
Nancy Parish, who runs her
blog, The Sound and Furry.



Want more on this topic?

  • Page 1: How to Start Your Romance Novel.
  • Agent Janet Reid provides 20 Query Letter Tips.
  • Confused about formatting? Check out Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript.
  • Read about What Agents Hate: Chapter 1 Pet Peeves.
  • Want the most complete database of agents and what genres they're looking for? Buy the 2011 Guide to Literary Agents today!
Your Story Writing Prompts

94 Your Story Writing Prompts

Due to popular demand, we've assembled all the Your Story writing prompts on WritersDigest.com in one post. Click the link to find each prompt, the winners, and more.

How Inspiration and Research Shape a Novel

How Inspiration and Research Shape a Novel

Historical fiction relies on research to help a story’s authenticity—but it can also lead to developments in the story itself. Here, author Lora Davies discusses how inspiration and research helped shape her new novel, The Widow’s Last Secret.

Poetic Forms

Saraband: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the saraband, a septet (or seven-line) form based on a forbidden dance.

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

International bestselling author Karen Hamilton discusses the “then and now” format of her new domestic thriller, The Ex-Husband.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Ultimatum

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Ultimatum

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character give or face an ultimatum.

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

Sylvia Beach was friend to many writers who wrote what we consider classics today. Here, author Kerri Maher shares six things everyone should know about her and Shakespeare and Company.

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

Author Katherine Quevedo takes an analytical look at the creative process in hopes to help other writers find writing success.

Nick Petrie: On Following the Most Compelling Story

Nick Petrie: On Following the Most Compelling Story

Award-winning author Nick Petrie discusses how he listened to the story that wanted to be told in his new Peter Ash thriller novel, The Runaway.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 596

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a punishment poem.