This topic is close to my heart because I am currently revising for my wonderful editors at Spencer Hill Press. For me, revision comes easy. I love revising and improving my manuscript. The way I do it is simple—I read through the suggestions, whether they come from my betas, critique partners, agents, or editors. Then I take the simplest suggestion first and implement it, then the next easiest, then the next easiest, ending with the hardest change to make.
For example, I received a revise and resubmit request from a wonderful agent last fall. It was three pages long, and it did wonders for my manuscript. Though she ultimately passed, she did like the changes I made. I did, too. How did I tackle those three pages? Like I said above, I made the easiest changes first. One suggestion was to remove a scene that was hokey, so I simply deleted it. Another easy suggestion was to delete a few scenes that had been repetitive, so I went through and deleted half of those scenes. Easy!
The harder suggestions took more thought and planning. For example, this agent suggested developing the relationship between two characters further, so I looked for areas in the manuscript in which I could show some of their history and current interactions and added more depth and detail. The overall result? A better manuscript that landed me my book deal with Spencer Hill!
Don’t fear revision. Embrace the changes that make your manuscript better. If you disagree with them or they don’t match the tone or theme of your story, then the choice is yours. But if they make sense to you, or they even excite you, or more than one person makes the same suggestion, consider moving forward with them to make your story shine. Our beta readers, critique partners, agents, and editors are here to make our books better. Let them guide your book to publication!
TRIANGLES, Kimberly Ann Miller, Spencer Hill Press, June 2013