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Weekly Words - a quote, a tool, and a tip for writers

"People create stories create people; or rather stories create people create stories." Chinua Achebe

A Writing Tool

A Craft Tip - Using the Revision Pyramid

One of the number one questions writers ask is “How do I know when my manuscript is ready to query or self-publish?” Writing a first draft is hard, in fact, I’ve got a whole course on this at www.NextStepBookCoach.com. Once you’ve finished, it’s time to turn what you’ve written into something people will want to read.

To help answer this question I’ve created the Revision Pyramid. Once you’ve finished your draft, set it aside for thirty days so you can look at it with fresh eyes. Then go through the first round of revisions. Once you’ve solved the story issues you are aware of and you have well-defined characters with a clear character arc, you may want to send your draft to beta readers. Ask them if they had issues with the plot and characters. Ask them if they were bored at any point and find out where. They may find larger issues in the text that you couldn’t see. It’s even more likely they will point out what you knew needed to be fixed.

You may decide to hire a book coach or developmental editor to help you condense the layers of the revision pyramid. These people are trained to identify the story, technical, and smaller issues such as grammar errors. The right critique partners can also help you improve your manuscript.

If you are querying, your story is likely ready once you’ve gone through the entire pyramid. If you are self-publishing, you still need a copyedit and/or a proofread, depending on your manuscript. Not every writer’s journey will be the same. Some edit as they go, going through some of these stages in the drafting process.

Give your manuscript the best chance for success. Revise until you’ve reached the essence of the story, and then polish it to a point.

Photo Inspiration - There's a Story Here: Colorado, USA 1996

What story would you write about this photo?

Next Step Book Coach - If you're ready to start your novel, are stuck in the middle, or have finished and need to know what to do next - we can help.


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