Wednesday, April 1

I've Revised My Novel. Now What?

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Congratulations to all who completed the Revision Workshop!

Where your manuscript goes from here will depend on what stage you’re at in your process. For example, my revision session was all about getting my draft ready for my beta readers and critique partners, and I’ll be sending it off to them today. You might be sending yours to an agent, editor, or crit partner, shifting to submission research, or taking a break before your next revision pass.

Here are some suggestions on what to do next based on what stage you’re at:

1. Ready for Publication

If this revision session was the final stage to getting your manuscript ready for publication, congratulations! Send it off to your agent or editor, or begin your pre-publication work if you’re self publishing. Here are some articles to get your started:

2. Ready for Submission

Now that the novel is done, you're shifting gears to work on your query letter and synopsis. Take your time with this step, and make sure your submission materials are just as good as the novel itself. And don't forget--do your research for any agent, editor, or publisher you submit to. Here are some articles to get your started:

3. Ready for Beta Readers

Send your manuscript off for feedback and relax. If you know you're close to the submission stage, now is a good time to begin researching who you plan to submit to, or studying the self-publishing process if that's the path you plan to take. Make the most of the waiting time while your manuscript is being read. Here are some articles to get your started:

4. Ready for the Next Revision Pass

If you want to do another pass, go back to day one and start the process over again. Feel free to combine daily tasks or skip days to maximize your revision time. After going through it all once you should have a much better sense of what you need and how best to work with these steps.

5. Ready for the Next Book

For those who like to dive in and get started on a new novel right away (whether your manuscript is out to betas or on submission), might I suggest giving Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure a try? My step-by-step guide to planning a novel follows a similar process to the revision workshop, offering guidance and motivation to help turn your idea into a workable novel plan.

Finishing a revision can be bittersweet--joyous that it's finally over, but sad to see the story we've lived with for so long go. But that's what sequels are for right?

Which stage are you on? What are your plans now that your revisions are done?

New to the At-Home Workshop? Find the current list of revision steps and earlier prep work on the introductory page.

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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  1. Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I see you used my guide that led to this awesome blog ;)

  2. A very helpful series. I'll be referring back to it for all of my work. Thanks!

  3. Really excellent series! I've lots to catch up on! So worth it! Thank you Janice!

    1. Thanks so much! Take your time, and good luck on your revisions.

  4. This is incredibly helpful. Thank you so much.

  5. Janice, we posted this on our Google Plus and Trello pages and almost everyone in our crit group participated. Thank your from the Fantasy Faction (complete with SF writers.)

    1. You're most welcome, so glad you're enjoying the workshop and finding it helpful.

  6. Such a great series, Janice! Thank you. I also prepped mine to send to beta readers. So now new eyes will be on it, which is always enlightening :)

    1. Thanks! Ooo fun, and scary. Fingers crossed for us both for good feedback.