Bird by Bird by Chapter

Novel revision doesn’t seem quite so formidable when it’s tackled one issue at a time, one character at a time, one chapter at a time. So today I pulled one problem chapter out of my binder – a mere four pages, versus the whole 185-page heap – and worked on that. Sometimes you have to let go of the big picture. Sometimes you have to forget about all other notes and story lines and pages and characters. Sometimes the only way to get through a huge project without losing your mind, is to get deep inside one manageable section. And hang with it for a while. And make it great.

“Bird by bird.”

What’s your bird today?



  1. I'm am so bad. I have yet to read this classic. I promise I will–pinky-swear promise. :).

  2. This is a great suggestion! I also like to take one element – say, softening a character (which is what I'm working on in my revision right now) and only focusing on that throughout the novel. If something else comes up while I'm doing that–It often does because I'm holding other feedback in my head as I go–that's fine. I may do that along the way. So excited you're working

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