He got up and sat on the edge of the bedstead with his back to the window. “It’s better not to sleep at all,” he decided. There was a cold damp draught from the window, however; without getting up he drew the blanket over him and wrapped himself in it. He was not thinking of anything and did not want to think. But one image rose after another, incoherent scraps of thought without beginning or end passed through his mind. He sank into drowsiness. Perhaps the cold, or the dampness, or the dark, or the wind that howled under the window and tossed the trees roused a sort of persistent craving for the fantastic. He kept dwelling on images of flowers, he fancied a charming flower garden, a bright, warm, almost hot day, a holiday—Trinity day. A fine, sumptuous country cottage in the English taste overgrown with fragrant flowers, with flower beds going round the house; the porch, wreathed in climbers, was surrounded with beds of roses. A light, cool staircase, carpeted with rich rugs, was decorated with rare plants in china pots. He noticed particularly in the windows nosegays of tender, white, heavily fragrant narcissus bending over their bright, green, thick long stalks. He was reluctant to move away from them, but he went up the stairs and came into a large, high drawing-room and again everywhere—at the windows, the doors on to the balcony, and on the balcony itself—were flowers. The floors were strewn with freshly-cut fragrant hay, the windows were open, a fresh, cool, light air came into the room. The birds were chirruping under the window, and in the middle of the room, on a table covered with a white satin shroud, stood a coffin. The coffin was covered with white silk and edged with a thick white frill; wreaths of flowers surrounded it on all sides. Among the flowers lay a girl in a white muslin dress, with her arms crossed and pressed on her bosom, as though carved out of marble. But her loose fair hair was wet; there was a wreath of roses on her head. The stern and already rigid profile of her face looked as though chiselled of marble too, and the smile on her pale lips was full of an immense unchildish misery and sorrowful appeal. Svidrigaïlov knew that girl; there was no holy image, no burning candle beside the coffin; no sound of prayers: the girl had drowned herself. She was only fourteen, but her heart was broken. And she had destroyed herself, crushed by an insult that had appalled and amazed that childish soul, had smirched that angel purity with unmerited disgrace and torn from her a last scream of despair, unheeded and brutally disregarded, on a dark night in the cold and wet while the wind howled

Revision Genius

Revision Genius

How to Self-Edit Your Novel

Self Edit Your Novel

You don’t just want to publish a book — you want to publish a GREAT book!

  • A book that readers love.
  • A book that readers tell their friends about.
  • A book that gets you attention.

This course helps you transform your book to make it even better.


Whether you’re just starting to write or have several books out, this course will help you improve your book. I start with basics but escalate to sophisticated techniques.

The lessons are applicable for any writer, no matter the genre, but novelists will get the most out of this course.

This course is available worldwide.

You can go at your own pace. But if you do one video/revision challenge per day, the course would take 3 weeks. If you take it full time, it would take about a week.

Email me and ask: john@bookfox.com

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Meet Your Instructor

Hi, I’m John Matthew Fox, and I help authors write better fiction. Over the last ten years, through courses and editing, I’ve helped hundreds of authors publish their books and even win awards.

My website Bookfox has nearly 1,000 posts to help writers, and I’ve published a nonfiction book, “The Linchpin Writer: Crafting Your Novel’s Key Moments” and also a short story collection, “I Will Shout Your Name.”

I’ve been published by the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and won fiction contests at Third Coast and Shenandoah.

Ask me a question?

Course Curriculum

1. Common Misconceptions About Revision
2. Growing a Revision Mindset
3. Kill Your Inhibitions
4. Revising Character Likability
5. Eliminating Ghost Characters
6. Combining Characters
7. Your Least Developed Character
8. Helping Characters Change
9. Mapping Your Book
10. Breadcrumb Revision Strategy
11. Feeding Readers Knowledge
12. Isolation Revision
13. More Isolation Revision
14. Grill Your Scenes
15. Six Line Editing Tips
16. Feeding the Senses
17. Refining Your Metaphors and Similes
18. Five Guidelines for a Final Revision
19. Finding Good Beta Readers
20. Finding a Professional Editor
21. Revising Your Writing Ego


“Course was 10 times more fun than I expected. Often I get bored or tired with a full day course, yet not for this course.”

Jeff B.

“I have a wealth of practical strategies for editing/improving my novel. I can launch into the edit with fun, joy, engagement based on what I learned.”

Judy R.

“I think it was helpful to get us into our own manuscripts right away. I felt like once I actually looked with a revision mindset (just by doing that very first exercise) it completely shifted how I was thinking about working on it.”

Melanie S.

“The content was entertaining and thought provoking, and I generated a lot of ideas during the session. I was never bored, and that is not always true for me, I seem to have trouble listening to presentations for more than an hour these days. Really well done, great materials.”

Kelton T.

“There was so much helpful and inspiring information. I felt like I could isolate specific blocks, and/or tasks to make a daunting project doable. I liked that there wasn’t pressure to present a bunch as a participant, but others who wanted to could. It was helpful and inspiring to see and hear them share.”

Tamra N.

“The advice was very helpful — it provided me with a fresh perspective on how to approach certain issues within my manuscript.”

Christine B.

“I have been editing my novel and have been totally stuck on a working method. I was all over the place. This class taught me how to edit with purpose, what to look for and how to fix problems.”

Heather L.

“Great course! Very useful tips on how to start revising, especially scattering clues and overuse of metaphors.”

Cath O’Driscoll

“I enjoyed John’s speaking voice. His relaxed, knowledgeable teaching method is effective and easy to absorb. I gleaned several pearls of wisdom. I will definitely watch more of his courses and look for more services Bookfox offers.”

Dawn Thompson

Make Your Book Better

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Split payment over 3 months

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You will love “Revision Genius”

I’m confident this course will help you learn how to write and revise your sentences. I’m so confident I offer a money-back 30-day guarantee.

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