Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Write Stuff Wednesday

"Revise, Revise, Revise." In my head that's always been spoken by Jim Nabors's Gomer Pyle.

Yet revisions are important to writing - especially if you want to be published. Writing a short article or a full length novel, revisions are required. Chances are the ideas you've put into that first draft are golden, but trust me, some of those words can be moved around or (gasp) cut to really polish the whole to a gleaming finish.

In all my revisions classes, I encourage students to get the idea down, to follow that rush of words onto the paper and handle the corrections later. It's a matter of focus and purpose. Whether you plot or write it by the seat of your pants, this process applies. Get the ideas down, enjoy the character action and reaction, then GO BACK and make it shine.

In the revision you can eliminate that passive voice (was/were) and weak verbs so the reader stays connected to the story. In many cases, this is a simple reorganization of a sentence. In the revision you can catch all those subconscious spelling errors and incorrect wording (to/too/two). In revision, when you're a step back from that rush of story, you can really see what you left unsaid.

In my opinion revision is all about attitude. If you love the book or article and want others to love it too, you have to clean it up so readers can see, hear and feel the golden idea you're trying to convey.

And of course a little chocolate never hurts.



  1. Chocolate is essential! Oh, and I suppose all that other stuff you said is mildly important, too. :>)

    Good post, Regan. Passive verbs were a huge weakness for me, so now I'm always on the lookout for them. Using "find" to "find" words ending in "ly" also help.


  2. Great suggestions Mary- thanks!