I have to be honest. 3by3 writing method’s response to this week’s question wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I thought I was asking how you go about revising. But, the comment, with a very nice revision, by the way, proved my point perfectly. Everyone approaches things differently. Even my weekly questions! So, it is no surprise that different writers approach the revision process in different ways as well.
Revision is hard for me. Because my writing is a deliberate act, and I often revise as I write, I become even more attached to each word. But, I know that my first draft is never the best and making those changes is vital to the success of my writing. So, how do I do it?
I start by taking a break. I put the piece aside for however long I need to until it no longer feels so familiar.
Then, when my memory of what I wrote is a little fuzzy, I reread it aloud. I listen for slow parts in the plot. I watch for sentences that don’t flow. I make sure characters are consistent and reliable throughout and the sequence of events makes sense.
Then, I’ve usually done just about all that I can on my own. I need fresh eyes. That is where a husband, friend, or, best of all, writer’s group comes in.
Revision isn’t always easy, but like people, no piece of writing is finished as soon as it exists. Revision improves the writing and the writer. I’m looking forward to what it will teach me next.