I write and revise and revise some more and then send it out. In between these steps I let it sit, in an attempt to gain some perspective on it. Sometimes the process takes years...
I've found that if I spend too much time on revision, the activity gets like chewing gum too long...the gum has lost all flavor and my teeth and jaws begin to ache. So eventually I stop.
In recent stuff, I've been using my word processing program to pick out and change things. I've tried removing all the "-ly" adverbs. I've been trying to spot and revise verbs like has and [/i]was[/i] (and any and all associated forms), trying to make sentences and events and descriptions more immediate.
But I've come to wonder about that. The resulting sentences sometimes seem awkward...and doesn't seem to help much...and, besides, it takes a godawful lot of time to do it. I haven't yet put it into practice, but I plan to do less of it and leave some of all that in my stuff, first chance I get.
(Way, way back, I went through a period where I wrote one draft and sent that out. After a year or so, I realized (on rereading) that I needed to do something more to the stories...so I went back to revision.)
I liked how Ms. What described her very systematic means of revising and editing. In the past my revision process has been somewhat haphazard - her approach seems like it would be less time-consuming. I also like what What says about never giving up on a piece - (I could not resist).
Posts: 2003 | Registered: Jul 2008
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Wow. All I can say is I'm glad I do not need to write for a living.
Good advice, though. I am finding analytical revising (having just started the revision of my novel) far more difficult than the actual creative writing. And nowhere near as fun. It is far more work, than play--and I do [u]not[/u] want the story to seem over-worked.
Also, one key thing about me and revisions---I'd much rather be putting out something straight and brand-new than revising something on hand and already written. This might, ultimately, affect my ability to handle revisions...
Posts: 8748 | Registered: Aug 2005
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