Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 8, 2017

14 Keys to Revising Your Manuscript by David Lubar

I met David Lubar at the NJSCBWI Conference last weekend. He is a funny guy and look forward to reading his latest YA Novel – Character, Driven.

Here is a new illustration by Ana Ochoa. She has been a professional illustrator for almost 20 years, doing picture books, educational books, cards, calendars, etc. Ana hopes to one day to write and illustrate her own books. She was featured on Illustrator Saturday.

1. Show what the character is feeling, don’t just tell the reader.

2. Replace dull groups of words with one brilliant word.

3. Give specifics instead of generalities.

4. Make connections. Tie things together. The ending should feel inevitable.

5. Remove annoying speech tags.

6. Catch intended repetition.

7. Bring in all the senses.

8. Trust the reader.

9. Let the reader figure things out.

10. Make sure you’ve said what you mean, and not what you think you mean.

11. Check for afterthoughts.

12. Look for solutions in the text. Example: Sometimes we need something to tie two scenes together. David says look at other places in your manuscript – you probably can find an answer from saying you said earlier in the manuscript.

13. Look at your manuscript in a variety of ways. Example: Single space manuscript, switch from portrait to landscape, read it backwards to look for typos and errors.

14. Wait as long as possible before revising. If you keep going back and revising, you will mostly be wasting your time, since you can easily need to change the beginning when you get to the end.

David Lubar has written 35 books for teen and young readers. His novels are on reading lists across the country, saving countless students from a close encounter with Madam Bovary.

His YA coming-of-age novel, CHARACTER, DRIVEN, received starred reviews from Publisher Weekly, Booklist, School Library Journal, and Kirkus Reviews. His WEENIES short-story collections have sold more than three million copies.

In a previous century, he designed video games for various Atari and Nintendo systems.

David lives in Pennsylvania with his amazingly tolerant wife.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Great suggestions and just in time for revising my WIP!


  2. David Lubar was fanTASTic (as was Stephen Savage) as keynote speaker! We all were glued to every word and how great you were able to record all these KEY notes! 😀 Thanks, Kathy 🙂


  3. Great list! #10 is one reason that critique partners are vital.


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