Monday, September 14, 2009

A little revision tip

Recently I wrote about how going through first pass pages causes me to catch things I hadn't previously caught because there is something about reading the manuscript more like a book that makes my brain sit up and take notice.

Author Melissa Wyatt commented that she always prints out her manuscript in a style similar to first pass pages for this very reason. What a great idea!! Why didn't I think of this before??

So, I thought I'd try this. In case you'd like to as well, here is what I did:

In Word, go to Format, then Columns, and select TWO.

Then go to File, then Page Setup, and select LANDSCAPE.

I also chose to single space it, to save on paper (It went from 171 pages to like 97 or something). And then I have hard page breaks after every chapter ends.

Here's how it looks, in case you're interested:

So this is my task this week - to go through the manuscript and read it like a book, and see what things pop out at me. Fun, fun!!


  1. That's such a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

  2. That's great My mac will sometimes format it like that for me when I write and it's sort of fun.

  3. What a super idea! I'm not ready yet for that but will do it when I am. It reminds me of my days as a newspaper reporter. If I made a hard copy and went away from my desk to read it, I saw the article with fresh eyes. Somehow it makes the fact it's going to be published more real and you see things that slipped by.

  4. Cool idea Lisa, thanks!

    I do something similar for PBs and Comics/Graphic Novels (because of page turns and facing page illustrations), but I never thought about doing it for novels.

    David Weisner said, at the LA conf, that he always reads his PBs like books while he is making them so that he thinks of everything as part of a book and not individual images (pastes copies of the illustrations into a dummy and puts the changes in there too).

    Now how do I remember this post/idea the next time I try to revise a novel (probably in December or January, after the craziness of NaNoWriMo is over)?

  5. That's a fabulous tip. Thanks, Lisa!!!

  6. I love this tip...I'm totally doing it when I print up my revision pages! Thanks ;)

  7. Thanks for the tip, Lisa! I'll have to try it soon.

  8. I can't wait to do this! Someone at a conference once suggested changing your font and margins with each revision--but this looks even better.

    And, how fun to see what my manuscript would look like as a sho' nuff, real book!