Good Morning Bookworms. Today I’m here to talk about writing, because as you all know, I’m not just a bookworm…I’m a writer.
If there is one thing that my Creative Writing workshop classes have taught me it’s revision.
REVISION. REVISION. REVISION.
Get the point? You can’t write a great story without it. Actually, you can’t write anything without revision: papers, poems, songs, stories etc. Today I want to walk you through my revision process. Everyone does this differently, and that is the beauty of it.
There are a finite number of ways to write a sentence, but an infinite number of ways to revise a sentence.
First of all, I have to do everything physically. After a new draft of the story or book is completed, I print it out. Strap up with your ink and printers this is going to be a process. My current manuscript is 135 pages. Yikes! So, I print my stuff at Office Max. It may seem expensive, but you’ll save yourself money in the long run. I suggest printing one sided, not double sided. This way you have a blank sheet of paper behind every page. If you get an idea for a new paragraph, flip the paper over, draw an arrow, and roll with it on your free page. It’s great thinking space.
Once the manuscript is printed out in front of me, I write all over it. I take notes in the margins, underline, cross stuff out, and add stuff in. I think of revision as a conversation. I’m talking to my story. Here are a few examples:
You may wonder, why paper?
Doesn’t Word(c) have a comment and revision function? Yes, it does. However, I think of what’s on the computer as solid. Concrete. That saying about how nothing on the internet can ever be gone forever (or something like that). I see my word document on the computer the same way. But when I see paper, I see fluidity. Paper is changeable, moldable, and impermanent. Paper puts me in the mind set to change my words.
Back to the revision tips.
I save the details for last. In fact, there are still details that are stored in the back of mind that I know I’m changing, and I have known that I will change them since page one draft one. But the word choice between ‘I was mowing the lawn’ and ‘I mowed the lawn’ isn’t something I need to worry about right now. Start with the big things. Does this chronologically make sense, did I call this character by a different name two pages later, could I be more detailed here?
To sum it up in quick tips:
- Work on paper
- Print single sided for space to create
- Don’t get bogged down in the details when you know this isn’t the final draft
- Have a conversation with the story
- The more you write on the page the better, you want all that info when you turn back to the computer and cement these ideas into changes on the page.
Thanks for reading Bookworms. Happy Writers Wednesday.