How much time should it take to revise your romance manuscript? That’s a question I often hear.
The most obvious answer is that it takes as long as it takes, right? Some authors complete several manuscripts a year while it takes others more than a year to finish one.
It Helps To Have a Plan
One of the reasons revising your romance novel may take a long time is because you’re working without a plan. A solid RevisionChecklist will help you make daily progress. A plan can turn a six month revision process into something you can accomplish in thirty days.
Use the RevisionChecklist I’ve put together for myself or create your own. A checklist will help you avoid revision challenges.
Common Romance Novel Revision Challenges
Boredom – At some point revising your manuscript may not be as engaging or inspiring as writing it. If this is the case, perhaps you need time away to get reinvigorated. That’s okay. Taking time away from your mansucript is a common recommendation from writing experts. How much time? A few days minimum. A week or two is a great idea.
A New Story Idea – To be honest this is what always trips me up. I’ll get about half way through a manuscript revision process and BAM! Tons of great story ideas start flooding my thoughts and distracting me from the revision process.
The result? A lot of half revised manuscripts.
The solution, I’ve found is to really crank through the revision process. I give it a month. If ideas pop up during that time period, I write them down. Ignoring potential story ideas is painful so don’t do that.
No Revision Plan
Sometimes the biggest challenge is that you don’t have a plan to work from. No plan is perfect so don’t try to make that the challenge. Instead, create a method that makes sense. For example, this seven step process can be used as the foundation to create your own revision plan or checklist:
- Take two weeks off from your book
- Read through it completely beginning to end and take notes on where it needs to be fixed.
- Fix scenes
- Fix flow, sentence length, word choice
- Fix spelling and grammar
- Read through it again beginning to end
- Call it done!
How long should it take to revise your romance novel?
A general rule of thumb is one to six months. Obviously, the less time it takes you the better because it makes room for you to start working on your next novel. However, speedy revisions aren’t worth anything if your book doesn’t end up being the best it can be when you’re finished.
Create a revision process. It helps you dot the i’s and cross the t’s. It helps you revise quickly and ensures you’re submitting the best book possible to agents and editors.
To your success!