Revision–The Fun Part Of Writing

Whoops!  I forgot my date for the Merry-go-round Blog Tour post, so this will be a double post day.

Revision–for some writers it is a dirty word that they don’t want to talk about.  Some novice writers don’t even do it.  Their excuses might run like these: “My writing is good and I’ve spelled everything correctly so I don’t need to revise.”   “I revise as I go along.  When I’m done, I’m done.”  Can you say Ego Trip?  Even Stephen King revises.

So, what exactly is revision?  Revision is changes to your writing to make it better.  Those changes can be as simple as replacing a dull verb with an action verb.  Changes can be adding in whole scenes that move the action forward, or cutting whole scenes that drag and are boring.  I used to separate revision from editing with my students, but I usually do both at the same time.  (Editing is looking for spelling and grammar mistakes and fixing them.)

Why do I say revision is the fun part for me?  Because.  Because the work is done.   Even when the draft writing is going well, it’s still work.  Work can be enjoyable, but it is still work. One uses both sides of the brain and after a long session of writing, I’m as tired as if I had been doing physical work all day.  Revision is fun because now I can tinker with the story to improve it.  If I tinker as I’m writing, it really slows the process down, and I might just change the scene so much during revision that the early tinkering is thrown out anyway.

With revision you can make the book the way you want it to be, even if you went off on a tangent, or two, while writing your draft.  Although I’ve been writing for years and even taught writing to middle school students for years, I know enough to know that I don’t know it all.  About a year and a half ago, I took an on-line writing course with Holly Lisle.  (Actually I took two: one was about writing your book, the other about revising your book.) HTRN–How To Revise Your Novel.  I learned new techniques for revising and had many “Ah, Ha” moments while taking the course. One of the best things I learned was to do what Holly calls One Pass Revision.  Do it all at one time, not going through your book over and over and over.  So now, revision is fun.  I can’t wait to get to the end of my book so I can fix it and then I’ll call it finished.

How about you?  Is revision fun?  Or is it a bothersome chore?  I welcome your thoughts on the subject.

P.S. If you’re looking for Two Songs, Day Nine of the 10 Day Blog Challenge, it’s here, since I posted it before I remembered my monthly Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour posting.

My Revision–The Fun Part of Writing post is a spinoff  from the blog topic “Revision”of the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour .  Each month on a different topic, as a reader, you can travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.Don’t miss tomorrow’s posting by S.J. Reisner  Over twenty other writers are posting on the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour.  You might want to check out other posts.  You can find links to all of the posts on the tour by checking out the group site. Have fun with your travels!

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5 Comments

Filed under About writing

5 responses to “Revision–The Fun Part Of Writing

  1. At the moment, it’s not fun. I’m so darned sick of the story. I want to be done, and it’s just not moving very fast enough for me.

    I do consider revision, editing, and proofreading all separate stages of the writing. Revision is the real work, the changing of the story. Editing is clean-up — fixing pronoun problems, continuity errors, nitnoid things. Proofreading is fixing typos that I made during the other two parts.

  2. Revision is great so long as you know how to improve your work. The nice thing about it, is that you’re making it better, refining your ideas, turning it from ordinary into remarkable (hopefully) But if there’s something wrong and you don’t know how to fix it, that’s not so much fun. Luckily I have a very good partner who is super critical and has the knack of knowing what’s needed. My favourite part is actually editing because everything else is in place, all you’re doing is making the writing better.

    • Sue

      That’s great, Tahlia, that you have a critique partner who knows what they are talking about. I am leery of handing over my story to others for comments because on my last book, five different people read it and they all had different things they wanted changed. I wound up adjusting some things that were commented upon, but relying on my own common sense mostly.

  3. Pingback: Confessions of a Former Pantser | SueSantore: About Books, Writing, and More

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