Thursday, July 15, 2010


Let's talk "revision," my most frequent blog label, right after my kids, and even more frequent than "writing" itself.

How do you revise?

How much?

I was thinking about the word "revision" this morning (at 3). There's the "re" prefix, meaning "come back to" and the root, the great word "vision."

"Revision" is a change in the way we writers see things. It goes beyond substituting vocabulary or restructuring sentences, to whole new elements of plot, premise, theme.

Carolrhoda Lab editor Andrew Karre told me that he most admires "fearless revisions."

I've found that the more fearlessly I change the way I see my writing, the stronger it becomes.

It's not always easy. Sometimes I'm really married to stuff I have to throw out or re-do.

But it's always, always made the work richer and deeper.

What do you think about when you think about revising?


Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wow, Jennie! This is the best way I've ever heard to view and approach revision - I love the idea of "seeing" it differently. Awesome post!! :-)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I've been revising a pb ms for two months now...I sent it to a couple critique buddies today for some final input. I've got my fingers crossed that they are happy with my rhyming....

Jackee said...

I love how you've put this, Jennie! I'm a baby steps reviser, with many drafts. But this next ms, I want to revise whole new chunks with reckless abandon. Some of Plot Whisperer's tips have been really helping out with this.

Have a great weekend! :o)

Anonymous said...

I take a short break from the manuscript. When returning to it I freely revise. I find that using my judgment and instincts, I never want to add back whatever I changed or deleted.

Michele Thornton said...

I love revising! It's that first draft that kills me.

Jennie Englund said...

Those tips are perfectly thrilling!

Happy writing (and revising!) all!