For the sake of clarity, let's establish some vocab.
1. Revision draft = post-first draft, post-beta readers. I usually revise my first draft again (and again and again) myself. Then I send it to my lovelies, who send me all kinds of mean notes as all betas should.
1. I read all my beta's comments, making notes on things that obviously need to be fixed or clarified.
Then I'm ready to really revise. Here's what it looks like:
- Pen in whatever color
- MS printed out, divided into 3 sections
- Beta notes on computer screen
- Notes nearby
Here's what happens:
1. I read my notes and plunge into section 1 of the printed MS, pen in hand. I delete. I reword. I write entire new scenes (by hand). I evaluate word choice. I read out loud for flow. I break up paragraphs. I edit awkward writing. I add/delete details.
2. Pandora blares in the background. Meals may or may not be consumed.
3. When finished with section 1 (usually through the end of Act One), with pages bleeding, I enter all changes into the computer.
4. I save the draft and go watch TV.
5. I repeat this process for section 2 and then section 3.
Note that this does not take only 3 days. More like 30. Or 60. Or forever. Sometimes I can only do a few pages each day because the slashing and rewriting and moving and general smell of holy-crap-I-wrote-this-garbage? is just too much.
But all revisions get done by hand, on paper, and transferred to the computer. Otherwise, I just can't "see" it. You know?
Oh, and then I repeat the entire process again. And again. I am a fast drafter, but that requires a colossal amount of revising. Good thing I don't hate it...
How do you revise your MS?