Many writers groan and cringe when they hear the word revise, but I actually like this process. If there were a group called revisers anonymous, I would be in it. So, how do I begin?
After I write a chapter or whatever is on the docket for the day, I let it sit until the next day. Then I begin the next day by re-reading my story, starting from the chapter before the chapter I wrote the previous day. I might make some small changes while reading for text flow,wording, re-order sentences, etc. but what usually happens is that I have an aha! Something I couldn’t quite fit together the previous day has solved itself. I believe in my subconscious– I let it do the work for me. = )
A lot of writers write their whole first draft before even thinking about revising. I don’t. I revise while I write. If I come up with a whole new path for my MC and have to tweak the beginning to get my character in the right frame of mind or at the right place to do my bidding, I will go back and revise the story from the beginning to make it happen. And then I’ll continue. I can’t continue to write the story when I don’t feel like everything is in place, but that’s just me!
Revising, I often tell middle grade students, is really RE-Visioning. Taking the story on a different path than what you first planned. Asking yourself, “what if”. What if my MC was a purple people eater? What if the story was in a swamp instead of a desert? Why couldn’t Edward have been the werewolf? (ha! just kidding!) Often times you’ll come up with a more compelling reason for your MC to be doing what he/she is doing during revision. I find that the kernel is always there, but with revision it gets popped to its fullest potential.
What do you like about revising? How does your process differ from mine? Next Wednesday a thought or two on revision as it has to do with critique groups and other resources.
Below is the current list of contributing writers to the HOW I WRITE blog series.
Click a link and find out HOW I WRITE! (in alphabetical order, check us all out!)
Kendall Ashby Corbit- http://www.twokendals.blogspot.com/ Rated R
Kristine Asselin – http://krisasselin.blogspot.com/ Rated PG
Tatiana Caldwell – http://tatianacaldwell.com/blog Rated R
Isabelle Flynn – http://www.isabelleflynn.com/ Rated PG
Ansha Kotyk – http://www.anshakotyk.com/blog Rated PG
Laura Pauling – http://laurapauling.com/ Rated PG
Alexia Reed – http://alexiareed.blogspot.com Rated R
Gail Roarke – http://gailroarke.blogspot.com Rated NC-17
P.M. Rousseau – http://pmrousseau.com/ Rated R