four revisions is too many?

Looks like folks disagree with my thoughts on how many revisions are necessary:

TJIC: …I’m on my fourth draft…

kilteDave: Fourth draft? Out of curiosity, have you had anyone else read through your manuscript?

TJIC: Yes, I’ve had several friends do beta reads. Most thought that draft 2 was solid. I know that four might sound excessive, but there’s a lot to learn about characterization and plotting a novel, and I’m convinced that the work to date has been worth it. When revision stops helping, I’ll stop revising.

Sarah Hoyt: Be careful. You can kill a novel by over-revising

That’s OK. I’m confident that I’m improving the book with every pass.

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5 Responses to four revisions is too many?

  1. Sol says:

    You’re using version control for it, right? In a pinch you can always go back to a previous revision…

    • Travis J I Corcoran says:

      Indeed I am; if it ever starts to go stale because of over-revision, I’ll revert it, as you suggest!

  2. Sarah says:

    It might not be too much. My first three published books had ten revisions — they needed it, because I’d got in the Tudor mind set SO well it was practically unintelligible. BUT I know a lot of beginners kill books in three revisions. You see, revising is MUCH harder than writing, and if you’re a beginner you’re likely to mess it up. Just what I’ve seen, and not universal, of course.

  3. lelnet says:

    We will assume that you’re getting it beta-read after _each_ revision, right? ‘Cause the author is almost always a bad judge of what actually needs revising in his own work.

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