on Fiction University:
Revising a novel is a lot of work, but if every word is a struggle, there might be a problem you’re missing.
In theory, novel revisions should be easy. You’ve already written the story, you know where it goes and how it all unfolds, and now it’s just a matter of making the novel better.
In practice, it takes work. The first draft is more brain dump than workable manuscript, and there are always details to work out, characters to develop, and plot holes to fill.
Revisions are a part of writing, and as much as we wish they’d go smoothly, they don’t always work out like we planned.
Some manuscripts fight us more than usual and nothing we do makes them into the glorious novels we know they could be. When we run into such a troublesome beast, it helps to step back and figure out the problem before we make a mess of our stories.
Here are five reasons why your revision might not be working