Yesterday, I talked about making cuts in your copy as part of your book revisions. Today, the focus is on adding new text. You may be wondering why you might need to start adding text after cutting so much out. The main reason is that when you take parts of your book out, you will start to see gaps that need to be filled and transitions between key points that need to be made.
As when making cuts, there are two levels of filling in: sections, paragraphs and headings; and smaller additions of single sentences and phrases.
Adding sections and headings
After you have cuts sections, you will probably find that you need to begin adding new sections. By doing this, you are smoothing the flow of your writing and ensuring that the logical sequence of your book remains intact.
- After cutting your book, print out each chapter individually.
- Read through the book and make a note of any places in the chapter that the flow is disrupted.
- Do you need to add any sections to complete key points or smooth transitions? Can you see that you have missed a point that needs to be made in a different way after making your cuts?
- Add in any headings needed and list key points that need writing in.
- Write the new copy and insert it into the chapter.
Adding sentences and phrases
Once you have put in the big changes, you can start to hone the text on a more detailed level.
- Print out your chapter again.
- Read it through, writing and editing as you go along.
- Work quickly and make sure your changes are clear.
- Add your changes to the electronic copy of the chapter.
- Print out the chapter again and set it aside for the next day.
You may need to go through this process more than once as smoothing your book and completing the revision process may take longer, especially if your cuts or changes are substantial.
By working very quickly and setting each chapter aside between revision stages you will minimise the potential for you to get bogged down in the process. Remember that doing lots of drafts will keep you moving forward so avoid pitching for perfection in one single draft. Aiming for perfection will simply hold you back so reading, revising and redrafting is the way to go if you want to keep moving towards completion.
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