Revising–Aiming for Smooth and Fluid

Since the first day I needed to vent on paper, getting the words down was never a problem. It felt good to examine my emotions and place them on a substance I could burn or tear up. Things have changed.

I save my documents, and worse yet, share them. Rereading what I’ve written helps me gauge how I’m doing, and sometimes the words aren’t as smooth and coherent as I first imagined.

So action must be taken.

And into my home library I go, to find a solution in a book called: “Getting the words right: Getting the Words Right coverHow to rewrite, edit and revise” by Theodore A. Rees Cheeny.

As I read I wonder how I could have missed the obvious. I guess somewhere in the back of my mind I recognize how the greats made their words so fluid. But seeing it, reading it, admiring it, doesn’t mean I understand how to do it.

According to Cheeny from page 51, “Analyzing paragraphs in such detail may make writing seem mechanical and contrived, but if it’s done well, the reader doesn’t feel it; he just moves along easily from sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph. The reader is disturbed when the writer fails to contrive for coherence.”

I’m working on this.

Some ideas cannot be expressed in any one sentence no matter how long. More clarity is required. Moments in time must be captured. Impressions, reactions, emotions must be shared. It makes the event real.Β  So what I have in the forefront of my mind can be written down in its entirety and hopefully tempts the reader to read on.

If the reader is willing to read on, the hook has been set successfully.

Simple.

I’m far from a master. The apprenticeship of a writer is a long and trying road. And I like this road, bumpy as it is. I learn new things every day. Some of insights I share like what I found in Cheeny’s book.

What do you do to improve? I know I’ve asked this before and to be honest I’ve bought many titles that were recommended. Tell me. Have you made a new discovery since then? Shout it out.

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8 responses to “Revising–Aiming for Smooth and Fluid

  1. I agree with you. Some phrases and sentences and scenes are much harder to describe than others. What I tend to do is go back to some of my favorite well crafted scenes and book and ask questions. What did they do to make me believe? What did they do to lift the hairs on my arms? How much time did they spend doing it? I am such a visual person it pushes me as a writer to see it done well in my favorite reads. Happy New Year!!!! May it be a really great year for you dear Anna. ;0)

  2. Happy New Year, Em!

    I totally agree with Erika about sentences and scenes being harder to describe than others. It always helps–at least to me–to reread scenes I highlighted in a previous book I read to see how that worked. Or watch TV..LOL I am very a very visual person. πŸ™‚

  3. Happy New Year, Em. πŸ™‚ Revision is my very favourite part of the writing process. There’s nothing I love more than agonising over words to create the perfect description, re-writing sentences, analysing scenes, and slashing pointless fluff. To see the shiny writing at the end is a huge rush. When I hit a brick wall, I always open up the novels of my favourite writers to see how they approached the thing I’m having difficulty with. There’s nothing like learning from the masters. πŸ™‚

  4. I always thought when I was younger that being a writer would be such an easy and fun job. But, I’ve tried and failed miserably doing it. I commend all writers who are able to write a whole coherent book that’s good. Happy New Year!

    • Adrianna, don’t give up. We get better each time we write something. Bit by bit I improve.

      This year will be different. You’ll see. πŸ™‚

      Happy New Year!

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