Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Are You Over-Revising?

As I wade through the murky revision waters on my WIP, I've mostly been focused on whether I'm revising enough. Am I cutting all the unnecessary words and scenes? Have I added enough detail to flesh out the characters so they have more than one dimension? Do I have the right balance of external action and interiorization?

I'm still on my second draft, so there's not much danger of over-revising yet. But I know from experience that it's easy to fall into that trap. Out of a desire to make their manuscripts perfect, writers (who, let's face it, can be a pretty obsessive bunch) sometimes aren't able to ever call them done.

Writer working

Wondering if you might be over-revising? This post over at Adventures in Agentland (the blog of literary agent Natalie Lakosil) has a list of red flags, like sending a manuscript to friends and critique partners over and over again and always having a new list of things to fix.

Whether you plan to submit your manuscript to agents, plan to self-publish, or already have a book contract, it's important to keep the end goal in mind. Getting too hung up on revisions might mean you miss opportunities--and it's a good way to drive yourself crazy in the bargain.


  1. Sometimes I feel like I'm over-revising. Editing just seems to go on forever.

    1. I so agree! I always think I'm close to done when the first draft is finished... but nope, it usually takes me just as long (if not longer) to get a polished draft.

    2. I do that too sometimes and then other times I think I'm guilty of rushing through it. :)