Hi everyone, time for another fabulous Writer Tip Wednesday.  Today were discussing a painful, but necessary part of the process: Revisions.

Believe it or not, writing is the easy part. You can have a lot of fun, and be free to make all kinds of mistakes. Your muse if free to go wild.

Revisions are where we rip our story to pieces, and make it bleed, ensuring each pieces fits into the puzzle perfectly.

Revisions are tough!

No matter how bad you want to rip your manuscript to shreds, and burn it, you need to stay calm, and remember this process will polish your story into the gem it’s meant to be.

Don’t go easy on yourself. This is where we measure the value of every word, trim down characters that aren’t vital to the story, ensure every character has a reason to be mentioned, every action has a purpose, ect. Going it alone can be terrifying, especially if it’s your first attempt.


Holly Lisle has a fabulous set of courses geared specifically toward writers who intend to make a career out of writing fiction. Today, I’m sharing some of her advice from her “How To Think Sideways” course. It’s a 29 book series {available on Amazon} that walks you through writing, and revising, step-by-step. For those who find these steps aren’t deep enough, she offers a great series called “How To Revise Your Novel.” that goes much deeper than HTTS. HTRYN is available exclusively through her website.

One of Holly tips, which I concur with is the use of Scene Cards. You can discover a lot of plot holes by using these. So, if you don’t already have them, write them up.

Scene Cards help you:

Look for absence of characters, conflict, setting, or twist in each card.

Spot any places where you’ve done in two or more sentences, what needs done in one. If you have multiple sentences, it’s a big sign that you haven’t focused your scene.

Look for weak, passive verbs where characters watch things happen instead of make them happen.

Look for places where the action isn’t centered around that scene’s POV character.

Know who makes things happen, what they make happen, what it changes, and why it matters {for every card.}

Pretty neat info, huh? it helps us see what matters and what doesn’t as far as the plot itself goes. Her are some ways to spot where your story went wrong.

Character Evil:

Defined as a character that:

Does not fit your personal world view.

Who has no place in your sweet spot map.

Who acts in fashions, and for reasons, that you don not like and do not empathize with

Who you just freakin’ hate, and not the way you hate a really good villain.

Plot Evil Footprints:

Happens when:

Your story has veered irretrievably from the ending you need.

It has been taken over by a growing thread or threads that have nothing to do with the story you originally envisioned.

You cannot get from where you are to the what you promised yourself you would write.

Your sense of meaning for your story has been shattered and you cannot figure out what the thing you’re writing means, or you hate what it’s trying to mean.

Usually, though not always, you can track Plot Evil back to a character, or characters who exhibit Character Evil.think-outside-the-box

Wow! A lot to chew on, huh?

Have you ever used scene cards during revisions? How do you make your revision process easier? How do you stay motivated during the revisions?

Reference Materials How To Think Sidewise by Holly Lisle.


About kittyb78

Catrina Barton is a licensed Kung-Fu Instructor of the Black Dragon style, and draws on that experience to make her fight scenes both realistic and action packed. She enjoys being surrounded by the stark beauty of mother nature. Whether it's a moon-lit starry sky, or a picnic by a peaceful waterfall cascading from the mountain side. Growing up no matter where she was physically, she always had at least one book in her hands and spent every free moment lost in a book. It's only natural that as she grew up, her passion for reading grew into an even stronger passion for writing, especially Young Adult Paranormal Romances. She is a proud member of many writing and marketing groups, and an active participant at Critique Circle and several other crit groups. Favorite personal quote: "An author cannot grow without both constructive criticism and encouragement."

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