Monday, January 15, 2018

Announcing Revision is a Process

Revision is a Process –
How to Take the Frustration Out of Self-Editing
by Catherine E. McLean

GENRE: Self-Help, Self-Improvement, Non-Fiction

A first draft holds the possibility of what will be a great story. Revision turns that rough diamond into a spectacular gem worth a reader's money and time.

Writers are individuals but to be a producing writer means creating a system to revise and polish a work so the reader thoroughly enjoys the story. REVISION IS A PROCESS is a guidebook for writers and authors that shows how a simple 12-step process can be tailored to eliminate the most common and chronic maladies of writing genre fiction. This valuable guidebook contains secrets, tips, practical advice, how-to's, and why-to's for taking the frustration out of self-editing.


From Section 7, Show Don't Tell - What to Cut or Change
One rule of fiction is to show more and tell less.

What does that mean?

A very simple example is that saying it's a flower is telling but to say it's a white rose, its petals edged with a mist of ruby-pink is showing.

Showing means providing an instant, vivid image so the reader sees in their mind what was meant.

Yes, showing requires more words than telling, but how much detail is too much detail when showing?

Keep in mind that readers will stop reading and skim over sentences and paragraphs of details in order "to get to the good stuff" of drama, action, and something happening of interest. So it's best to choose all descriptive words carefully and keep the passages succinct.

Now— Go through your manuscript and highlight all descriptive phrases and passages so you can see how much of the total text is description.

If using your word processor's highlight feature, pause to zoom down to view entire pages and look at the end of pages to see how much carried over to the next page.

If you have exceeded three sentences (20-60 words) of description or explanation at any spot, that may be overkill. Determine what needs to be cut, pared down, rewritten, or reparagraphed for visual effect and immediacy, and what is too lengthy, mundane, or bordering on boring.

It's also important, when revising such areas, to remember that the replacement words should be in keeping with the story's or scene's narrator—and not you, the author, stepping onto the page with your voice, (that's a type of Author Intrusion that readers hate).

Not only was this a great book for writing and editing but it was a really great book for someone creating a review.
This book is full of tips for editors, authors trying to get their book published, self-publishers and anyone wanting to write well.  I have often stated that we reviewers should keep in mind that we are not authors but rather people giving an opinion only of something an author has created.  However this book, can help a reviewer as well as an author. This can help anyone composing from all ends of the spectrum, whether you are a well-published author or a student in college composing an essay. 

I sound overly enthusiastic but the book was laid out so clearly that what can sometimes be construed as dry reading material was as interesting as a novel.  I am the perfect judge of this because I am the first to become bored with something very dry and academic.  I didn’t miss a word of this book.  

So, in way too many words (according to this author), what I am trying to say is that Catherine McLean crafted a book filled with invaluable learning in an enjoyable way.  Absorb all of her excellent tips, excellent writing rules and one of the most important aspects of getting your book noticed by a publisher, editing to perfection.   

If you are a writer, seasoned or new to the field, this book needs to be on your bookshelf for constant reference.  As a retired librarian I immediately sent an e-mail to my library to get this in their collection. 

My closing advice…you’d best be looking for everything she has published as well as any Workshop she gives.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Catherine E. McLean's lighthearted, short stories have appeared in hard cover and online anthologies and magazines. Her books include JEWELS OF THE SKY, KARMA &
MAYHEM, HEARTS AKILTER, and ADRADA TO ZOOL (a short story anthology). She lives on a farm nestled in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains of Western Pennsylvania. In the quiet of the countryside, she writes lighthearted tales of phantasy realms and stardust worlds (fantasy, futuristic, and paranormal) with romance and advenure. She is also a writing instructor and workshop speaker. Her nonfiction book for writers is REVISION IS A PROCESS - HOW TO TAKE THE FRUSTRATION OUT OF SELF-EDITING.


  1. I am really enjoying following this tour, thank you for all the great blog posts and excerpts!

  2. You brightened my day, Kathy, with this wonderful review of my book. And many thanks too for recommending the book to your library. If any of your readers are interested, I am doing a month-long online course for Pennwriters on the "144 Aspects of a Novel," which runs Feb. 1 to 28, 2018. Information can be found at -

    Again, I sincerely thank you for reviewing REVISION IS A PROCESS. Have a great day!

  3. Catherine, this was an easy review to write. I know many people need to read your book. What seems like a hundred years ago, I owned a business converting those old catalog cards to digital records to load in library systems. As you know better than anyone...a word spelled wrong makes information inaccessible. The same sort of thing hits me up side the head in a book. Authors and editor's need to realize how quickly such a small thing can turn off a reader and a potential publisher. You gave so many hints to help this.

  4. I enjoyed reading about your book; congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  5. Have had lots of good visits. Thank you all. Hope we see more people visit this great book.

  6. Thanks for sharing the great post, I enjoyed reading it!

  7. Who is your favorite literary character? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  8. In this day and digital age, it takes a lot more than being able to write a story, it requires presenting the story so a reader effortlessly reads the words and forms a movie in their mind. Talent will take a writer only so far. It is craft that enhances and liberates creativity. Best of all, craft can be learned - and self-editing is just another aspect of the craft. Thank you all for visiting this blog today. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment (and to those who entered the raffle, I hope you win!).

  9. Hi, Bernie,

    Who is my favorite literary character? What an interesting question. You are the first to ask me that. So - ready for this - my answer is - Captain Horatio Hornblower. That dashing, swashbuckling captain captured my heart and mind way back when I was in my early 20's. Looking over the years and the gazillion books I've ever read, he still stands out as hero-hero. However, oddly enough, I do not have a favorite female literary character.

    Thank you for stopping by! Have a great day.


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