Novel Revision: Compiling Feedback

November 20, 2018

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”
~ Paul J. Meyer

I had planned to talk about writing through the blah, but I had my critique meeting last Friday and got feedback on my YA, so wanted to share some stuff on that.

Intelligent Planning

I’ve gotten into a good routine when I receive feedback on a novel (some of which you can read about in “Post-Writer Feedback: What I Do.”) Today I want to talk about the benefit of planning when you have a deadline.

When my agent gave me a date when she could read and respond to my novel—December 6—I rose to the challenge. I wrote and revised like crazy to get the manuscript to my critique group by October 7 so they could give me feedback by November 16. My hope was it wasn’t too extensive and I could meet the December 6 deadline.

  • I got the manuscript to my group by November 9.
  • After I got the feedback on Friday (Nov 16), I knew it was manageable.
  • I compiled all the feedback into one document, separating it out into different categories: characters, plot points, beginning/ending, minor stuff, etc.
  • I printed out the manuscript and spent the weekend marking it up based on big picture plot issues only.
  • Knowing I wanted one full week to do a final revision and polish meant inputting all the plot issues this week.
  • I divided the number of pages in the manuscript by the number of available workdays this week and calculated that I needed to write/revise a minimum of 75 pages per day. I went through and separated the pages out into their own stacks. One stack per day. Luckily at this stage, some pages have no marks so I can just move past them.

This planning and organizing placed a visible, tangible, manageable goal in front of me.

Intelligent Planning = High Productivity!

Round 2 Planning

Next week I will be going through it much more carefully and in detail, in multiple passes as time permits, so that I deepen character, make sure scenes and chapters support my story and themes, that every word needs to be there, and that I’m not selling the story short.

The deadline and goals have energized me and I look forward to sending the manuscript to my agent on or before December 6. Yay!

What’s your process when you receive feedback?