I had the pleasure of hosting Catherine E. McLean today on my review blog and as a wonderful bonus, I was able to read and review this very informative book. I think it is a fantastic resource and I hope that those who are searching for a way to polish their manuscript keep it in mind when looking for tips.
4.75 out of 5 stars
Revision is a Process: How to take the frustration out of self-editing by Catherine E. McLean is a nicely detailed guideline of the steps that need to be taken to polish a manuscript. The author gives specifics and emphasizes that it takes time, hard work, and a consistent plan to produce a polished product. She recommends that one should broaden one’s knowledge base by studying books, particularly craft books written by teachers who are also authors, which underscores the fact that this book is an overview of steps to focus on.
I like that she acknowledges the overwhelming nature of revision then breaks it into manageable components. Of course my thrifty nature cringes at the idea of printing out the story (twice!) but the recommendations are practical and a great way to prevent the eye from skipping over errors because of familiarity with the story. It is great that both the mechanics and the story itself are addressed, with explanations for why it is so important to address both and keep the reader invested in the story. As the author states, “Your work needs to stand out from the rest, and that means quality storytelling that’s been ruthlessly self-edited and then edited professionally before publication.”
I would love to make this book a required text for all novice authors I interact with and I daresay it would be helpful to even seasoned writers by reminding them of common errors that are overlooked, such as providing sensory details other than those from sight or using the outline generated to assist in writing a synopsis and/or blurb. This is a great reference work and I highly recommend it.
A copy of this title was provided to me for review