At some point in the revision process it’s helpful to have another set of eyes on your manuscript. Ask your reader to tell you what he or she thinks the book is about. It’s always delicious when someone praises your work and tells you how fabulous and enthralling it is, but in the early stages it’s far more useful if your reader tells you what they think you are writing about. Because often that lucid vision in your mind isn’t fully realized on the page.

If you are working on a non fiction book about a program or course you have been teaching you might be so familiar with your material that you leave out key components. There might be concepts that you know well but don’t illuminate for your readers. ( I’ve seen this often in my editing work)

If you are writing fiction or a memoir ask your reader for their impressions of the characters and the arc of their journeys. The protagonist you view as being magnanimous might come across as rather manipulative. Sometimes a character that you have great sympathy for appears aloof and cool on the page. Weighing these comments you can approach your next round of revision with a clearer sense of how you need to refine your work.

All good thoughts for your adventures on the page!

~ Lisa Fugard