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The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, 3rd Edition by Writer's Digest Writer's Digest Editors

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Chapter Thirty-Four

Your Revision Checklist

Removing the Guesswork from the Process

Josip Novakovich

In the revision stage, you strive to make your writing coherent, clear, and effective. Out of chaos, a fully developed story gradually emerges. Clumsy sentences become graceful; clichés become wit; muddled action becomes drama. If you wonder how to sound original, the answer is revise and revise. Even if you think your stories don’t work, you can make them work—if you revise well.

As you revise, don’t fear changing your text radically in search of its best possible shape. And certainly don’t hesitate to get rid of whatever does not work. On the other hand, don’t rush to throw things away. Give yourself time, and if in a week you still think that ...

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