I hit a wall in my revisions recently, a great big high one. I stared at my computer screen for hours, knowing I still had heaps of revisions left to do but not able to bring myself to continue. I tried to pass off my mental block as a one-off event, only to find myself in the exact same position the next day. And the next.
Eventually I admitted defeat, closed down my computer, and went for a walk. The change of scene worked wonders and I came up with a plan of action that has since helped me immensely. I thought I'd share it with you over the next few posts.
REVISION PLAN OF ACTION
Step 1 - Time to print out my document and start working on paper.
Some of us prefer to do all our revisions on the computer. If this works well for you, that's great, there's no point trying to fix what ain't broke. But, if you're like me and find your focus narrowing to an area the size of your computer screen (minus the toolbars), and often tunnelling in until you can only concentrate on the sentence you're revising at that particular moment, you might need to print out your document and start working on paper.
I've found that the shift from computer screen to paper immediately broadens my perspective, enabling me to look at the manuscript/part/chapter/paragraph as a whole rather than revise sentence by sentence. This has obvious benefits to my manuscript, particularly when I'm focusing on "big picture" revisions rather than line edits.
When (or if) you make the shift from computer drafting and revisions to printed-out revisions is up to you. After I finished my first draft, I found I had a lot of scenes and paragraphs that needed moving around, and I did most of this on the computer. Once I had my manuscript structure in place though, revisions on paper became a must.
How about you, do you revise on the computer or on paper? When do you make the shift?
Next Revision Step: dividing your manuscript into sections...