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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-Five

The Great Revision Pyramid

How to Tackle Revisions Layer by Layer

Gabriela Pereira

Nonwriters believe revision is something you do in an afternoon, manuscript and red pen in hand. They picture this as a cosmetic process, choosing one word over another, or transplanting a paragraph to a different page. They think once that first draft is written, the book is practically finished.

They’re wrong.

Writers know better. They know that a jumbled draft can be even more terrifying than a blank page. They know that there is a lot more to revision than a few red marks on the manuscript. And they know that the first draft is simply the raw material that they must shape, carve, and polish into a masterful story.

Revision is work. It’s ...

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