Author Topic: lets talk revision  (Read 2468 times)


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lets talk revision
« on: December 04, 2007, 03:34:34 AM »
Now that we have these great manuscripts I'm wondering how everyone revises, what are some tips, tried and true tricks, anything you would warn against. How do you go about revising?


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Re: lets talk revision
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2007, 09:49:25 AM »
I'm not finished with writing yet, but once I am, I'll probably have a very loose finger on the delete button. That's all I can say :P

Oh, and I'll leave it untouched for a month because Stephen King said you should. Killing your babies gets easier. (Will give me the strength to cut out my "funny" Lord of the Rings references.)


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Re: lets talk revision
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2007, 01:06:24 AM »
I know this may sound crazy...but I sent my draft to my mother (English Professor) and had her tear into it first. She sent it back to me with some comments and ideas, and I'm going through the rest of it with what she said in mind.

After I get done with my second pass I'm going to hand it off to my boyfriend, have him read it and get his input..then based on that it may go back to mommy dearest.

But based on a few of her suggestions...the delete key has been my friend, and the 'find'/'find and replace' features are VERY handy to have around  ;)


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Re: lets talk revision
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2008, 06:10:06 PM »
There are a lot of great resources talking about editing that you can look into.  Stephen King's book On Writing is excellent.  Anne Lamont's Bird by Bird as well.

Other suggestions:

Read outloud.  If it's hard to read and you stumble over long passages or repeat the same words over and over, start rewording and chopping stuff away.

Consider all adverbs and whether they serve a purpose/move the sentence along.  If you can get 'spoke loudly' from the fact there's an exclamation point at the end of the sentence then kill the adverb, etc.  Not all adverbs are evil, but they tend to be a crutch for writing that doesn't need them.

Turn on your spellchecker!  Like a bunch of folks here I edited for The Leading Edge, and it was STUNNING how many manuscripts we received that had basic words misspelled.  Silly things like 'teh' instead of 'the' which a spellchecker would have caught.  If you don't have a spellchecker there are plenty of them online, cut and paste your documents in and fix those basic words.

Get involved with a writer's group or hand the manuscript over to others to read.  The caution here is that you can't give it to someone who will just tell you it's wonderful because they love you.  You have to get objective readers that will tell you what they like and where they'd draw the red line and stop reading.  Send to a variety of people of both genders.  I've found that men and women read things very differently, and stuff that I would have cut based on input from my female readers are beloved sections by the male readers.  Get lots of input and look for the middle ground so that you can continue to appeal to a wide audience.

Keep writing.

Keep writing some more.

And then keep writing some more.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2008, 06:21:46 PM by JenaRey »

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Re: lets talk revision
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2008, 10:55:07 PM »
Elizabeth Bear describes the writing process here. Worth reading.
"The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter--'tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning."  -  Mark Twain

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Re: lets talk revision
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2008, 11:22:55 AM »
Elizabeth Bear describes the writing process here. Worth reading.

That made my night, and very insightful.  :)

Yes, I saw the date...  :-\ After I hit enter.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 11:36:31 AM by Silenced Parrot »
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