Today I want to talk about another way to make your revisions seem less daunting: breaking your manuscript into sections. This works well for both computer revisions and paper revisions.
REVISION PLAN OF ACTION
Step 2 - break your manuscript into sections
I suspect that part of the cause of my revision-block was the 300 page manuscript in front of me. My thinking went something like this: How on earth am I ever going to get my revisions finished, OMG there's 300 pages!!! I was focusing on the size of the whole task ahead of me, rather than on what I could do that day, that week, or that month.
The funny thing is, I knew even as I sat there that I shouldn't be thinking this way. I just didn't know how to break myself out of the mindset.
Here's a little tip that might help you if you're ever in a similar position:
- save your document into a new file (so you don't lose/delete your manuscript while you're cutting and pasting);
- using the new document, cut a section out of the manuscript. I have 4 parts in my manuscript, so I cut out the whole of Part 1. But you may prefer to do this by chapters (eg 4 chapters), or pages (eg 30 pages). Whichever approach you take, I wouldn't go much higher than 50 pages in total;
- create a new document and paste the section you cut from your manuscript into the new document. Save this under a label you can easily find (I called mine "Part 1 - From The Other Side");
- Repeat until you have fully divided your manuscript into sections;
- Close all the documents except the first (eg my Part 1).
Once you're finished with the first document, simply move onto the second. Once you've finished them all and made the edits in your computer (as many rounds as necessary), simply copy the revised sections back into the one document. Then rinse and repeat as appropriate...
Obviously this may not work if you're still carrying out structural revisions, so it may be more appropriate to wait until your structure is in place and you're revising by scene or by chapter or working on line edits. But once you're in that place, give it a go, hopefully it will do the trick for you as well.
Have you ever tried anything similar? How does it work for you?