Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's
contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that
begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to
destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.
1. Break it down
I break my manuscript into chapters and scenes and then, using Scrivener's notecards, I summarize each scene and chapter so that I can see how things progress. even if you don't have Scrivener, you can use a bulleted on a separate document or Post-It notes on a corkboard (this also works well to make a calender to check for timeline issues).
It makes it easier for you to see where information is revealed, any places the pacing slows down, and how the plot progresses. For manuscripts with multiple points of view, I find it helpful to break them down by PoV character so that I can keep track of where everyone is and make sure that nothing gets tangled.
2. Do a preliminary read before starting revisions
Before you make any changes, give the manuscript a complete read-through. Don't make any changes here, just take notes. I keep a "revision letter" on a separate document of all the large things that I need to fix. This might include character motivations, plot changes, pacing problems, removal or addition of characters, new scenes that should be added, worldbuilding issues, things that need to be clarified, and any other enveloping changes. I also take notes on the document of smaller things like typos, awkward sentence structure, grammar issues, unrealistic dialogue, and other line-by-line issues.
3. Get betas