Revision: Stepping Up Your Writing Game

My two co-authors and I just sent The Egyptian Enigma out for critique. Both of them are hoping for a relatively clean return. I am hoping for a lot of red ink.

I hear you asking, “Are you nuts?” (And since I’m hearing your voice in my head asking it, then perhaps the answer is yes.)

Nobody can actually want to revise! Not this deep into the writing project. To have to wade through an entire novel again! To have to rewrite scenes and chapters. To have to rethink characters and motives. To have to do yet another storyboard.

I understand. To revisit, to rewrite, to revise, can be frustrating. Especially if the revisions are of the major variety. Revising can sometimes feel like starting at square one—for the third or fourth time.

But I find it exhilarating. Sure, I get to the same “Not again!” feeling every once in awhile, but I see revisions (especially of the major variety) as a challenge. It’s a chance to step up my game. To stretch myself as a writer. To find a new writing level inside I never knew was there.

It’s also a chance to get it right. Every writer knows what I’m talking about: That feeling that what you put on the page doesn’t reflect the intent or the vision in your head, even though it’s the best writing you can do. That feeling doesn’t go away (at least, it hasn’t for me). It just keeps shifting as you learn more about your craft. There’s always something you haven’t mastered yet.

I am an editor. And I fully agree that you cannot effectively edit your own work. But as a writer and editor, I have a good nose for when my writing isn’t quite cutting it. When I don’t feel that “click” when every aspect of the writing comes together the way it should, making the writing feel solid and seamless. However, I often don’t know why I feel that lack of solidity, or how to fix it.

That’s why I’m hoping for a lot of red from this reader. Because The Egyptian Enigma is a really good book—but I want it to be better. There is something missing that can take it from a good book to a great book, and I can’t figure out what it is. I’m hoping my reader can tell me.

I want to step up my game.


  1. I look forward to seeing what a good editor thinks of my writing and eagerly accept changes that improve my writing style. It’s a challenge, but one that makes each book I write just that much better.

  2. You took the thoughts right out of my head, Kerry. I agree 100%. I am knee deep in second draft revisions of my second novel right now and truly enjoying the process having learned so much from the first novel and challenging myself to avoid the mistakes made the first time around.

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