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Author In Progress by Writer Unboxed Writer Unboxed, Therese Walsh

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A Mechanic’s Guide to Revisions

Consider Story Change as Skillful Overhaul

Cathy Yardley

You’ve completed a rough draft, which is cause for celebration. You’ve let it rest, just as so many writers have suggested. You’ve gone over it. You’ve let a few beta readers review it as well. You have a full toolbox: You’re ready to mind map, mark up the manuscript with a colored pen, cover it with sticky notes, and even scissor-snip it if necessary. You’ve got Scrivener or some other nifty electronic tool that will let you shift scenes and add notes. You are prepared! Unfortunately you are also at a complete loss as to where to start.

You can think of your first draft in artistic terms: You’re molding clay, throwing paint on a canvas, or allowing your ...

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