I realized that I needed to brush up on my revision after reading a short I wrote a while back. So I decided this month would be dedicated to researching and discussing the many stages of revision. My story would never do as is, this I knew. The question was how to approach my task.
Revision is looking at your work from a critical perspective. It’s rethinking the story from beginning to end, examining the overall picture, and asking, does it meet what you’ve envisioned?
Be warned, revising takes more than one session. It can be time consuming, frustrating, and challenging at the best of times. Using different stages of revision, a work can go from a mediocre draft to a polished work of art.
- Let it rest, because when you go back to it, you may have to rip it to shreds.
- Read through the work, making notes.
- Remove the portions that don’t work.
- Break it down, and reorganize if necessary, building tension at each step
- Read through, looking for plot and subplot holes and loose ends
- Fill in the holes, tie up loose ends, flesh out characters, and make your settings pop
- Read through, looking for your voice
- Select your perfect words, change up on the sentence structure, and make it sound like your acting it out
- Read through, looking for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors
- Once polished, send out to beta readers, act on feedback
- Submit, take feedback to heart, and revise again
- Repeat until published
Note: Many of you will do some parts naturally and don’t need every stage to succeed. Others will be making a more in depth list of stages that will work for them. Do what you need to make the revision process yours.
Pantser, or planner we all have a vision. It doesn’t matter how we get there. There are millions of excellent works available today. If you want your work out there with them, you will have to do your very best. Don’t hold back. Give it everything you have and more. Think brass ring.
Writers: Do you have a method of staying on track? What works best for you?
- http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/revising-drafts , http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/word-choice , http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/reorganizing-drafts