REVISION: a change or a set of changes that corrects or improves something
EXAMPLE: My critique partner gave me suggestions for revision.
“This morning I took out a comma, and this afternoon I put it back again.” Oscar Wilde
“By the time I am nearing the end of a story, the first part will have been reread and altered and corrected at least one hundred and fifty times. I am suspicious of both facility and speed. Good writing is essentially rewriting. I am positive of this.” — Roald Dahl
Revising is more than fixing grammar, looking for better words, avoiding repetition, cutting words, or ‘gasp,’ entire chapters from your manuscript.
Revising is taking your time and doing it right.
Take a break from your first draft. Then read through it and analyze it. Read the paper out loud and read from hard copy.
Among others, ask yourself these questions: what do you like/dislike about the characters, were there places where you got bored (If so, your reader will more than likely get bored), does the plot make sense, does the story flow, do the characters jump off the page, does the story have stakes and is there a worry factor for your readers?
Cut, condense and tighten. Eliminate anything that doesn’t move the story along, even if you love that part. If it makes the book better, wipe away your tears and take it out.
Make sure the first paragraph, first page and first chapter grab your reader. Make the last paragraph of your chapters compel the reader to continue reading.
Yes, revising is hard. I know some people who do not like to have others critique their stories. Of course, you do not have to follow all suggestions others give you, but your story needs to be seen by eyes other than your own.
No matter what you write, whether it be articles, short stories, poems, children's literature or adult literature, you should develop a thick skin and get the opinions of others. We need to try and get it right before publication. A good first impression will go a long way. It will keep your readers coming back for more.
These are just a few suggestions. What do you think about revising? Give us your thoughts.
During your writing and your revision,
strive to find something that makes your words and story unique.
(From now on, WORD FOR THE WEEK, will be a regular post each Wednesday. (Unless circumstances in real life take over, which is what happened this past week.)
Posted by Janet Smart on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.