Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Envisioning Revision

OK, when I thought up this title I thought it would be Easy. I was wrong. You see I'm still working on finding my writers groove so when I began to revise my WIP I quickly realized I needed some direction. I'd revised articles, academic papers and even short stories. Revising an entire book: a whole new beast. So what did I do? What I always do, I consulted my blogging friends. Here are just a few of the things I've learned so far...

1- Like any piece of writing, you need to let it cool off and get some distance. That was harder than I thought. When I finished my first draft I was so Excited I wanted to plunge right in and was afraid I'd lose my momentum if I put it away. DO IT ANYWAY! Fresh eyes are a must.

2-There are two kinds of writers, putter-inners and taker-outers. I tend to be a putter-inner. Early in the creation of my WIP I learned that I had to push through noting areas that needed more. So going in,  I knew that I was going to have some research and more writing to do.

3-Practice Riff-writing. This is different than free-writing because it is focused on a specific part of your WIP. Choose a place to "jump-off" , a scene, a characters feeling any place you feel needs to be Expanded in some way. Then write everything you can think of. These "riffs" can be folded into your WIP.  
4- Have several other projects in the works so you can go back and forth. Your brain can get tired when so focused on one portion of your book.  Taking a break allows your brain to renew itself, you Exercise it in another direction.    

5-Prepare a checklist and chunk your finished manuscript. There are as many different checklists out there as there are writers. It would be Efficacious to create a checklist that reflects your known weaknesses as a writer. Revise your manuscript in small bites.

These are  only a small number of the ideas that you can Enlist during your revision process. What I realized is there is a certain amount of Envisioning (preparation) that needs to occur prior to revising so one doesn't feel lost or overwhelmed. I'm still figuring that out. 

Here are a few links to things I found Exceptionally helpful. 

What has been the greatest piece of advice you have received on revision?


  1. Great post! I'd say #1 was the best for me. I have a manuscript that I've put away for a while and now it's time to take it out. It so helps when I take a break from it.

    Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Publication

  2. Best advice I had for revision was: don't try and do it all in one pass. Rather, concentrate on specific goals for each run-through and then move on to the next aspect after you've gone through everything.

    It definitely took the pressure off form trying to fix everything all at once.

    Good luck on the revisions!


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