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When do you stop revising?
Jason Rice
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 2:40 PM
Joined: 4/26/2011
Posts: 4

When do you stop revising? If your book has been through dozens of edits, and you've had more than one person read it over for typos, when do you stop? When do you show it to an agent? 
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 12:33 PM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 157

When a publisher buys the story. Well, no actually, after that since when they buy the story, I work with an editor on it. So more or less when they publish the book.
Danielle Bowers
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 2:06 PM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 280

I stop revising when I start getting the urge to physically eat my manuscript like that guy from Grey's Anatomy.
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 2:16 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 245

I've heard so many different triggers. The most common one I hear is that when all you're doing is tweaking a word here, moving a comma, etc, you're done. Basically when you stop making big changes and you're just looking at the nitty-gritty.

I halt a round of revisions when I've made the changes I need to make. My revision process includes a very detailed outline that breaks the book down scene by scene. I use this outline to rearrange scenes, find what's extraneous, etcetera. When I've addressed every note I've made in the outline, I stop that round of revisions and let the manuscript sit.

I'm thinking one or two more rounds of revisions and I'll be ready to query. There just comes a point where if you edit one more time you run the risk of editing the heart and voice right out of your manuscript.
L R Waterbury
Posted: Monday, June 13, 2011 11:46 PM
Joined: 4/28/2011
Posts: 60

Uhhh ... never? I guess if I ever get published, then I'll stop when the manuscript goes to press. Otherwise, I am a constant tinkerer and no matter how many times I read my own manuscripts, I always find more errors.
Bill Gleason
Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 12:08 AM
Joined: 4/27/2011
Posts: 18

Without at all meaning to, I may have invented my own revision method. Probably not, but I call it the To Here method. Once I have a first draft done, I start on the rewrite. I read and rewrite as far as I can. Then throw in a few line breaks and T Here.

Next time I read it, I start at the beginning, pruning and trimming and adding, until I can move the To Here bookmark forward. Day after day, in Sysiphusian phashion. Until one day, surprisingly unexpectedly, I've moved the To Here to The End. Hopefully.
Sherry Foley
Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 2:40 AM
Joined: 8/13/2011
Posts: 6

Wow...you mean..there will come a time when I can actually stop???!!!

Well, I wrote, revised, wrote, revised, sent to a contest, revised, wrote, revised, won a contest, revised, sent to an agent, revised, they accepted and then I received a first round of "deep edits" and now I have the arc to read and check over..I am hoping this is the last go around.


I have it memorized line by line now!

Time to start a new story!
Posted: Sunday, May 25, 2014 4:38 PM
No idea.  Today, I feel like my cyberpunk novel, a SF for American gun madness .... maybe I'm writing the 2014 version of Uncle Tom's cabin. The young guy specifically targeting women ... Just one more piece in a pile of madness ... I'm writing THE STARS THEMSELVES UNDER THE GUN because the USA seems too much to be a pile of bullet-riddled corpses with the living sitting on the pile and either laughing or joking.  I mean: When was 1984 or THE SHEEP LOOK UP "done."  Maybe when they were published Maybe when people stop reading those book and stopped being disturbed by the issues or stop being swept up by the stories. Maybe our stories are never supposed to be "done." Maybe that's the point.
Elizabeth Moon
Posted: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 7:55 PM
Joined: 6/14/2012
Posts: 195

I stop revising a story when I realize I'm just delaying sending it off...when I've moved a word from this phrase to that more than once, or changed a word back and forth more than once.  As long as the story feels "deeper"--more connected in all its parts, more resonant--I keep going, but eventually I'm just dithering.


That's when I stop revising a story before sending it off.


But there's the next stage, when an editor gets hold of it.   Generally, editors have something to say, requests to make.  Now I have the opinion of the person who will buy, or has bought, it.  Okay then...how can I make it better in that person's eyes without making it worse in mine.  Of course I revise it.  Then, in the case of books, there's the dreaded copy editor stage (there are wonderful copy editors, and horrible copy editors, and if you're in the business long enough you will have both kinds.)  That may lead to more revisions.   Then there's the ARC, with the inevitable typo everyone missed--you, the editor, the copy editor, the proof readers. 



Posted: Wednesday, June 1, 2016 11:10 AM
Joined: 1/19/2016
Posts: 12

First, I think you should wait a few weeks before revising your manuscript. If you revise it just a few days after writing it, your revision skills might be influenced by the storyline you have set in mind. As for when to stop revising, if you feel you're physically and emotionally drained because of the activity, you should stop immediately.


ChatEbooks recently posted https://www.chatebooks.com/blog-Writing-a-Book-5-Ergonomic-Tips-to-Prevent-Injury-When-Writing


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