Notice I didn't say, "How To Revise." Because I know two things about revising: Everyone does it differently and you should constantly be revising (hee hee, see what I did there?) your technique, adding new tricks and tools to your Revising Tool Box.
I'm on the very last pass of my ms before sending it to my ninja agent. While I'm nervous about her reading it (PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF VODKA LOVE IT AS MUCH AS I DO!) I'm also so proud of it that I could burst. Ultimately you need to be in that place with your ms - you need to feel that it's the best thing you've ever done. And you can only get to that place if you've been Ming the Merciless while revising.
Here's how I do it:
1) Rewrite. I write the first draft, then immediately go back and revise it into a second draft. Why? I do this because I'm a pantser, not a plotter. I don't know where I'm going in the story until I get there, so when I get to the end I'm often like, "Who knew that guy was a jerk?" Which is fine, but I need to go back through the draft make sure those connections make sense, that the seeds of the ending are there in the beginning. If you are a plotter and know exactly where you are going, you may not need this step. But it can't hurt.
2) Beta readers. I wrote extensively on Betas here a while back. To sum up - you need them and you need to be very clear on what feedback you are looking for. Then, you need to carefully consider that feedback. Some advice might make total sense immediately, while other advice might be painful to hear. Read the feedback and consider it carefully. Consider the source, meaning, every reader has their biases. Be aware of where your Betas are coming from so you can weigh their feedback accordingly. Finally - do not let your ego get in the way. If feedback is wounding your ego, it's probably on target.
3) Wait. At least a day between getting your Beta feedback and starting revisions. It's a wonderful thing what your subconscious can come up with while you are sleeping or watching the Vampire Diaries - as long as you give it a bit of time. Sit with the feedback. It's the pause that refreshes.*
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
Which will be coming on Thursday!
In the meantime a question: What's your revision style?
*I forget which soft drink this slogan is from, but whoever you are, please don't sue me. I love fizzy drinks!