Here’s a pretty good post that uses three specific novels-in-progress to describe the process of revision.

1.The big issue I saw in the early draft: The protagonist’s efforts to manifest his powers on Earth were largely fruitless until near the end, which threw the pacing off—and when he told people about that second world he’d traveled to, no one seemed quite as skeptical as they should have been. The evidence tying the protagonist to his best friend’s disappearance also seemed pretty flimsy, so the threat of him being found guilty of her murder didn’t seem all that convincing.

2.The big issue I saw in the early draft: The protagonist appeared to have a big realization at the end that was all about the power of self-love, but there was very little at the beginning to suggest that this was even an issue in her life. In fact, at the beginning of this novel, the protagonist seemed pretty happy—until some trouble came along to destabilize her work life.

3.The big issue I saw in the early draft: There wasn’t enough focus on the POV of the protagonist for the reader to really identify with him and his struggles—the author seemed more interested in exploring this fantasy world than he was in actually telling the protagonist’s story.

Considerably more details about each at the linked post.

I’m wincing a little while reading through these comments about revision because these “big issues” ring thoroughly true. These are exactly the sort of comments that are (a) really helpful, and (b) going to make you spend a good deal of time revising your novel.

If you’re stuck with revision, or wondering what sort of editorial comments would help, then this sort of analysis of your manuscript is probably exactly what you need.

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