A Fae Diary | Logo

How to Revise and Edit Your Fantasy Novel

Hey there! You know that feeling when you finish your first draft of a fantasy novel? It’s exhilarating and a bit wild! But guess what? We’re not quite done yet. Welcome to revising and editing!

Let’s face it – our first drafts are like the rough stones we mine from the depths of our imagination. They’re full of potential, but they need a little polishing to truly shine. That’s where revising and editing come in. It’s all about honing our craft and creating a captivating story!

How to Revise and Edit Your Fantasy Novel

Differentiating between revising and editing

Think of revising as You’re sculpting your narrative to perfection, like a master craftsman chiseling a legendary sword.

Editing, on the other hand, is like polishing that shiny sword until it gleams. It’s about refining sentences, fixing grammar gremlins, and making sure your prose sparkles. Both are crucial, but they’re like two sides of the same magical coin.

Revising and editing are not one-and-done affairs. Nope, they’re more like a series. Think of it as painting a masterpiece. You start with a rough sketch, then add layers of color, detail, and texture until your canvas comes alive. Same goes for your novel – you revise, you edit, and then you do it all over again until your story shines brighter.

Take a Break

You know that feeling when you’ve been staring at the same words for hours, and suddenly, everything starts to blur? Yeah, that’s when you know it’s time to step away. Taking a break is like giving your brain a vacation. It’s like telling your overworked muse to go chill by the beach for a while.

When you distance yourself from your manuscript, you’re creating a much-needed breathing space. It’s like letting your story marinate in its own awesomeness. This break is your chance to recharge and come back with a fresh set of eyes, ready to spot those plot holes and tangled sentences.

Ever notice how the best ideas tend to pop up when you’re not even thinking about them? That’s the magic of a reset. 

So, go for a walk, binge-watch a series, or spend quality time with your pet dragon. Let your mind roam free, and when you come back to your manuscript, you’ll be armed with a renewed perspective and the energy to tackle those revisions.

Taking a break might feel like hitting the pause button, but trust me, it’s an important move in this grand revision dance. So, treat yourself to a breather. Your manuscript will be waiting, and you’ll be amazed at the fresh insights you’ll uncover.

Evaluate the Big Picture

Think of your story as a castle – you want it to stand tall and strong, right? Well, that’s where assessing the plot and structure comes in. Is your plot a thrilling rollercoaster ride, or does it resemble a maze with dead ends? Check if your story flows like a mighty river, sweeping readers along with its currents.

Time to put on your detective hat and spot those plot holes. Are your magical rules consistent, or does your dragon suddenly turn into a house cat? And let’s not forget pacing – are you keeping readers excited or putting them to sleep?

Characters – the beating heart of your story. Do they evolve, or are they stuck in a never-ending loop? Are their arcs satisfying and tied to the plot, or do they fizzle out like a dud firework?

It’s all about the grand tapestry of your story. Step back, assess, and make sure each thread weaves seamlessly into the next.

Character Development and Motivations

Characters are like friends we invite into our stories, right? So, let’s make sure they’re the coolest companions ever! Take a closer look at their personalities. Are they as multi-dimensional as a shape-shifting sorcerer? Do they have quirks, fears, and dreams that make them pop off the page?

You know what’s weird? When your character, who’s terrified of water, suddenly decides to become a deep-sea diver. Yeah, not cool. Let’s make sure their actions make sense. Every choice they make should be rooted in their motivations – their desires, fears, and past experiences.

Ever eavesdrop on an interesting conversation? Well, now’s your chance to do it with your characters! Are their interactions as dynamic, or do they fall flat like a deflated potion? Create sparks between them – friendships that feel like a warm fire, or rivalries that sizzle. Each character note should resonate harmoniously with the others!

World-Building and Setting

Close your eyes and picture your fantasy world. Is it a mishmash of random ideas, or a coherent universe that holds together like a well-crafted spell? Make sure your world-building is as solid as a dwarven fortress. Are your magical systems consistent? Does your world have layers – history, politics, cultures – that add depth and authenticity?

Are your settings popping off the page, painting vivid pictures in their minds? Describe the enchanted forests, the bustling markets, and the crumbling castles in a way that makes readers feel the breeze, smell the aromas, and hear the echoes.

Settings aren’t just pretty backdrops. They’re like supporting characters, influencing the mood, action, and even the character’s decisions. Make them count!

Ever read a fantasy book where characters use magic in one chapter, but forget it exists in the next? Yeah, let’s avoid that. Double-check that your magical systems, cultures, and rules are consistent throughout. If your elves are allergic to silver, they better not be rocking silver jewelry in the next scene!

Remember, your world is a living, breathing entity. It’s got rules, traditions, and magic that pulse through its veins. Give your readers a place they can explore like adventurers in a new land.

Dialogue and Voice

Your dialogue should flow like a river, natural and authentic. Every word should have a purpose – moving the plot forward, revealing character traits, or adding a sprinkle of humor.

Let’s give each character a unique voice that’s recognizable. Make sure their voices are so distinct that readers could pick them out blindfolded. Keep your readers immersed by maintaining a steady tone and style. 

Show, Don't Tell

You know that fluttery feeling in your stomach when you’re nervous? Your characters should feel that too – and your readers should feel it right alongside them. Instead of telling us, “Bob was terrified,” show us Bob’s sweaty palms, his shaky voice, and the way he avoids eye contact. Make your readers experience the emotions like they’re in a virtual reality adventure!

Let’s trim the excess fat and get straight to the juicy bits. Your readers don’t need a detailed manual on how magic works in your world – they just want to see sparks fly!

Show, don’t tell, It’s not about explaining every little detail; it’s about making your story unfold naturally!

Language and Style

Each sentence should flow like a swift river, carrying readers along without stumbling over unnecessary words. And don’t forget clarity – make sure your readers know exactly what you’re conjuring up in their minds.

Cut out phrases that repeat the same thing. Think of your descriptions as the paintbrush strokes that create vivid images in your readers’ minds. Make them pop with vibrant colors and intricate details. And metaphors? They’re like the spices, sprinkle them in to add flavor and depth. Turn a mundane scene into a magical masterpiece!

Grammar and Mechanics

Go through your text with a fine-toothed comb, hunting down pesky grammatical errors, spelling slip-ups, and punctuation glitches. Your sentences should be flawless!

Tense consistency is the key to keeping your readers anchored in your tale. Are you narrating in past tense, present tense, or mixing it up? Pick a lane and stick to it like a loyal steed.

And let’s not forget about point of view. Are you telling your story through the eyes of one character, or are you bouncing between different heads? Make sure your point of view is consistent and clear, so readers can follow the adventure without getting lost in the woods.

Seeking Feedback

Choose beta readers and critique partners who are as passionate about fantasy as you are. Instead of getting defensive, you nod appreciatively. Constructive criticism might taste bitter, but it’s the key to improvement.

They’ll help you see your story from angles you never imagined. And remember, your story isn’t a sacred relic – it’s a living, breathing entity that can evolve and grow with the help of others’ insights.

Final Read-Through

In this step, we’re hunting down– the typos, the formatting glitches, and the pesky little errors that can distract readers from your tale.

Zoom in on the details. Is there a misplaced comma trying to sabotage your sentence? Are your paragraphs formatting like rebellious imps? Weed out those minor issues, ensuring your manuscript is as polished and pristine as possible.

Give yourself a pat on the back – you’ve transformed your manuscript from a rough gem into a treasure! Your fantasy novel is a masterpiece in the making, and each revision is like adding another layer of enchantment. See you next time!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

©2023. A Fae Diary. All Rights Reserved.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x