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How To Revise Your Novel

In December 2009 I signed up for Holly Lisle’s latest Writers’ Boot Camp course, “How To Revise Your Novel”. The course was a revelation, helping to turn my revisions from panicky flailing around in a morass of conflicting ideas, into a methodical process where I felt in control. And I ended up selling the manuscript in a three book deal, so obviously it works :)

The course lasts five months* and is priced at $57 a month, for which you get a weekly lesson to download and complete in your own time, plus lifetime access to the HTRYN forums. There’s no exam at the end – you are in this to improve your writing skills, so if you don’t put in the time, no-one loses out but you.

* Since you work at your own pace, you can take as long as you like. It actually took me nine months to complete the revision, then another month to make some additional changes suggested by my beta-readers.

NB: if you’re not finished with your novel yet (HTRYN needs a complete – or near-complete – manuscript), there are loads of other courses and workbooks available from Holly’s website – a few are free, and the workbooks start from as little as $0.99. They cover a variety of writing techniques, and there are several useful ones on different aspects of worldbuilding. (Note: at the moment the courses are being migrated from the old site, so only HTRYN and a couple of workshops are available.)

For a taster of what’s involved in HTRYN, here’s the course outline:

  1. How to Create Your Target
  2. Discover Your Promises
  3. How To Triage Your Scenes
  4. How To Triage Your Plot
  5. How To Triage Your Conflict
  6. How To Triage Your Characters
  7. How To Triage Your World
  8. Discover Your Story and Theme
  9. How Manuscript Surgery Works
  10. Story and Theme, Take Two
  11. Commit to Your Keeper Characters
  12. Rework Your Plots and Subplots
  13. Tracking and Completing All Your Conflicts
  14. Working With Simple Time
  15. Working with Complex Time
  16. Learning To Become Consistent
  17. Hands on – Block Revision
  18. Line Editing With Style and Grace
  19. How To Improve Dialogue, Description, Action, and Flow
  20. Final Write-In With Scenes and Chapters
  21. Type-In – Preparing the Final Manuscript
  22. How To Modify This Course Into A One-Pass Revision

For more information, visit How To Revise Your Novel: Get the book you want from the wreck you wrote.

(Note: the sales page is really, really long – Holly doesn’t do her sales pitch by halves! – but you’ll find out a lot more about the course content. Oh, and there’s an endorsement from yours truly :) )

Disclaimer: The above links are for an affiliate scheme. They’re the only ones on this site, because I only endorse products and companies I believe in.