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This course was originally taught as a live webinar via Zoom.

Manuscript revision is problem solving. In each phase, we’re going to solve one big problem (macro) and one line-by-line issue (micro). When you find a problem, your goal is to fix is with the simplest solution available. Here are the four essential steps:

Step 1: Fix it. Before we can move forward, fix all of the things that are bothering you that you know are wrong. We have to be able to say, “Yes, this is basically the story that I wanted to tell.”

Step 2: Plot and Action. Read through the manuscript and fix any issues with the plot (macro issues). On a micro scale, correct issues with action sequencing.

Step 3: Motivations and Dialogue. Proceed through the manuscript again and fix any issues with character motivations (macro), and improve the dialogue (micro). If you have issues with characters that aren’t properly motivated, dialogue is usually the best and easiest place to fix it.

Step 4: Themes and Descriptions. Run through the manuscript one more time addressing themes (macro) and descriptions (micro). 

When you’ve completed these four steps, put it down. You’ve done the work and it’s the best that you’re going to make it. Continued tinkering is just as likely to make it worse as it is to make it better. It’s now time to consult professional help or to take the next steps in your publishing process.


The revision process is much easier if you begin your novel writing process with a clear objective in mind. The “Arche Year” course series will help with this, and is available for just $10/month to “Guild Member” level KWG community members.

Free Publishing Guide: Not sure what happens next in the process? Grab The Three Publishing Paths from the School of Kingdom Writers to understand your publishing options. Find it here.

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