How to Use Isolation with Revisions

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Once upon a time, back in 2015, I got editorial feedback from my critique partners and was—shall we say—a little overwhelmed with just how much work I had ahead of me. So I sat down and started my journey of revision refinement, in which I tweaked the way I revise my manuscripts, until now, three years later, it's become an expected part of my revision process. 

I've been thinking about that again while processing the editorial letter for The Rising Gold.

I still revise in passes. And while I do sometimes still draw up my categories the way I did three years ago whenever the occasion calls for it (by character, plot, world building, etc.) I now also go even more deeply than that and tackle things issue by issue.

That is, I look at whatever problem I need to fix, then go through the manuscript and only fix that problem, in however many scenes require altering, and I don't fix anything else until I've finished addressing whatever problem I'm isolating.

The issues I use this method on, of course, are larger-scale issues. Inconsistent characterization, or a large plot problem, or a gap in world building—something along those lines. And it works well with the way my brain works—I like to be able to focus on one thing at a time, and this forces me to do exactly that.

Then, when I'm done fixing one problem, I take a deep breath, smile, and move on to the next problem.

How do you tackle large-scale revisions?

Twitter-sized bite:
How do you tackle large-scale revisions? @Ava_Jae shares their isolation method to avoid overwhelm. (Click to tweet)

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