Monday, April 22, 2013

R is for Revision

In many ways I dread the revision stages of writing. It means that I have to cut out, re-write, and re-do all the beautiful things I already wrote. But, I've been thinking about the process of revision a little differently lately and it's helped me stay motivated to keep working on my novel.

Revision, broken down to the roots, is re: action done over, often with the implicaiton that the outcome of the original action was in some way impermanent or inadequate,  and vision: a vivid, imaginative conception or anticipation, or stated aims or objectives of an individual or organization.

It still means that I have to cut out, re-write, and re-do a lot of the beautiful things I already wrote, but it's also a chance for me to look at my story with new perspective. I get to see a new vision of what my characters' motivations are, and figure out what it is that really drives my story.

Most of the scenes I wrote in the early process of my current project don't mean much to the story as it is now. A huge part of early writing is to figure out who the characters are and what their story is. Once  I get a good grasp on that as an author I have to cut out all that other stuff that was simply for me. Then I have to add in more processing scenes which I'll have to change or delete later--and so the process goes on and on...until the whole story is pretty much filled in.

When I first started this story I knew that I had a character with a secret. I knew she didn't want to share that secret with anybody and I knew there was a girl at school who would torture her. I've since, in my re-vision processes, discovered what that secret is, and (at least partly) why this girl hates my main character.

What do you think about revision?

Write on!


  1. Hello, TA! I have a love-hate relationship with revision! The first draft revision is always the toughest for me because it can be overwhelming. But once I get started, I find my rhythm and it becomes exciting to fix it up. I want my writing to be the best it can be!

    You might like one of my posts with all revision quotes: Reading through these helps motivate and inspire me when I'm starting revisions!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  2. Sometimes I really think revision is easier than drafting ;)