Welcome to the home page for the Month-Long At-Home Revision Workshop. If this is the first you're hearing about this workshop, then read on and see if you'd like to join in (starting late is no problem at all, it's a work-at-your-own-pace kind of deal). The more the merrier!
Prepping for the Workshop: What to do to get ready.
Workshop Prep: Create an Editorial Map
Workshop Prep: Create a Revision Plan
Revision Steps By Day (Updated as each step goes live)
Day One: Analyze the Story Structure
Day Two: Analyze the Character Arcs
Day Three: Analyze the Scene Structure
Day Four: Clarify the Goals and Motivations
Day Five: Clarify the Conflict and Tension
Day Six: Clarify the Stakes and Consequences
Day Seven: Focus the Narrative Drive
Day Eight: Flesh Out the Character Development
Day Nine: Tighten the Character Descriptions
Day Ten: Balance the Backstory
Day Eleven: Focus the Point of View
Day Twelve: Clarify the Theme
Day Thirteen: Deepen the World Building and Setting
Day Fourteen: Eliminate Unnecessary Infodumps
Day Fifteen: Clean Up the Description and Stage Direction
Day Sixteen: Clarify the Tone and Mood
Day Seventeen: Strengthen the Foreshadowing and Reveals
Day Eighteen: Eliminate Unnecessary Told Prose
Day Nineteen: Check the Narrative Focus
Day Twenty: Streamline the Dialog
Day Twenty-One: Streamline the Internalization
Day Twenty-Two: Sharpen the Hooks and Tighten the Pacing
Day Twenty-Three: Smooth Any Rough Transitions
Day Twenty-Four: Revise Any Unnecessary Passive Voice
Day Twenty-Five: Eliminate Clichés and Trim Overwriting
Day Twenty-Six: Clarify Ambiguous Pronouns
Day Twenty-Seven: Strengthen or Eliminate Any Weak Words
Day Twenty-Eight: Revise Any Misused Words and Awkward Phrasing
Day Twenty-Nine: Eliminate Unnecessary Repetition
Day Thirty: Fix Any Grammatical Errors
Day Thirty-One: Do a Final Read Through
How This Works
Every day in March has one step to revising a novel. Each step focuses on an aspect of the process, and provides tasks for writers to complete. The plan is to do one step a day, but we all know revisions have a mind of their own and don’t always stick to a schedule, so don’t worry if some steps require more time than others. Depending on the novel and the writer, some steps will be easy and there won’t be much to do, while others will take longer than a single day.
This might be a 31-day program, but take as much time as you need to revise your novel and don’t feel pressured to keep up if that will hurt the quality of your writing. These steps are intended to guide you if you’re not sure where to start, motivate you on those days when writing is tough, and encourage you to keep writing by breaking the process into manageable pieces. It’ll still be on the site when you’re ready to move on to the next step, even if that’s months from now.
What You’ll Need
This workshop is aimed at novels that are in the later drafts stages, so the focus is more on tightening the plot and polishing the text. If you still have major plot holes to fill, research to do, or scenes to finish, I recommend getting it done before starting this workshop. The more you still need to figure out, the longer the process will likely take (which is fine if your goal here isn’t to get your revision done in 31 days). It’s okay if there are weak areas and the text itself is still rough, but aim for at least a solid first draft.
A Peek at the Process
We’ll be approaching this from the top down, working on macro issues first, then narrowing the tasks down every week to micro polishing issues. We’ll get our stories working, then our plots and characters, then move on to getting the scenes solid, and finally polish the text. (Because there’s no sense polishing the text if we haven’t worked out any plot problems yet) Each week will scale down another level. If you need two (or more) weeks to finish a level, take the time and move on when ready. This is about motivation, not heaping more stress on you.
The Revision Workshop and Guest Authors
Just because March will have this special revision focus doesn’t mean it’ll be all edits all the time. I’ll still be running my usual guest authors and indie author columns, so you’ll get double the fun (and articles) on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The revisions start March 1. Who’s with me?
Looking for tips on revising your novel? Check out my book Revising Your Novel: First Draft to Finished Draft, a series of self-guided workshops that help you revise your manuscript into a finished novel. Still working on your idea? Then try my just-released Planning Your Novel Workbook.
A long-time fantasy reader, Janice Hardy always wondered about the darker side of healing. For her fantasy trilogy The Healing Wars, she tapped into her own dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. Her novels include The Shifter, Blue Fire, and Darkfall from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins. The Shifter, was chosen for the 2014 list of "Ten Books All Young Georgians Should Read" from the Georgia Center for the Book. It was also shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, and The Truman Award in 2011.
Janice is also the founder of Fiction University, a site dedicated to helping writers improve their craft. Her popular Foundations of Fiction series includes Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure, a self-guided workshop for planning or revising a novel, the companion Planning Your Novel Workbook, Revising Your Novel: First Draft to Finished Draft, and the upcoming Understanding Show Don't Tell (And Really Getting It).
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