Sunday, July 24, 2011


Week of July 24—Revision Strategies that Work!
Quote of the Week:
The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon. You can always do it better, find the exact word, the apt phrase, the leaping simile.
—Robert Cormier

Mention revision to a student writer and you’ll hear:
            “I’m finished.”
            “You want me to change this?”
            “I like it the way it is.”
            “You want me to rewrite it?”

Interestingly, many writers have similar comments when it comes to revision. Maybe you’ve heard a critique group friend say, “I took all your comments last week and I made some changes. Now I’m ready to send it out.” Or maybe you’ve heard, “I’ve done all I can. If an editor really loves it, she’ll fix any problems.”

I will admit there are writers on the other side of the coin, too. Like the writer I met last summer at SCBWI, LA, who had been revising and rewriting the same picture book for ten years. Yes, ten years.

This week we’ll discover some practical, do-able approaches to revision that can not only make your writing better, but make the revision process less painful. I hope you’ll follow allow and re-vision revision!

Monday—The Difference Between Revising and Editing
Tuesday—Specificity of Words—Nouns and Verbs
Wednesday—Cracking Open Words and Phrases
Thursday—Point of View
Friday—Start In the Middle

A special note: Much of my study of revision was done in conjunction with friend and co-writer, Jim Osborn. Jim, I hope you have as many found memories of those weeks of work as I do!

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