Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Revision In Writing

Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, books or essays, research papers or notes for a speech, revision is critical.

Revision In Writing

Image Courtesy of Herman Brinkman ~

Even if your effort feels good and right and adequate, a revision could make it better.

Just like scraping ice off a window—revision takes things away to aid clear decisions.

And, even though revision usually also adds things after some removal, a writer will often not notice what needs adding without a bit of scraping-away

Here’s a partial word history for “revision”—“from French révision, from Late Latin revisionem (nominative revisio) ‘a seeing again’,”

So, apparently, it’s not just taking away and adding words

It’s seeing your writing again, from a new angle, with fresh eyesReVision…

There’s an article about all this on Glimmer Train, by Amina GautierJoy of Revision.

Just a few excerpts:

“…it is clear that the act of revising is not an act of editing, but an act of rethinking, an act of questioning. Revising is observing anew, understanding again, going back to see.”

“Revising encourages and liberates the writer to ‘make mistakes’. It rewards mistakes; each ‘mistake’ teaches one something about the story one is writing and gets one that much closer to the story one is meant to write.”

“Revision is the kick in the pants that propels the writer out of complacence, jars him from the euphoria that tends to come when he thinks he’s completed something.”

Naturally, I hope you’ll take the link and read the full article; but, let me add her four Key Points:

“Understand that a first draft is just that.”

“Do not be afraid to make a mess. Plan on it.”

“Don’t force yourself to revise and write at the same time (unless you want to).”

“Don’t mistake revising for editing.”

Each of those is more fully explained in the article

And, my final thought:

Once you get into the spirit of ReVisioning, it truly can be Joyful :-)
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4 responses to “Revision In Writing

  1. milliethom December 29, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    I’ve had a look at the full article, which expands on the points you’ve made, Alex, and find I agree with all that is said. However, I can’t say I’ve followed the advice to the letter with my own books – rightly or wrongly. Whenever I pick up my writing again the following day, I always start by reading through the last section I wrote. This basically puts me in the frame of mind to continue, as well as noting any errors or typos (which are the bane of my life!). I know this is editing and not really revision as such, which is best done once the whole document is completed. I was merely pointing out my approach to your third bold point above.
    This is another great post with excellent advice for writers. Thank you.


  2. Alexander M Zoltai December 29, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Well, actually, Millie, to be rigorous, that 3rd point is Ms. Gautier’s…

    And, I’m glad she added “(unless you want to)”.

    Also, thanks for appreciating the post :-)

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Alexander M Zoltai January 7, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Glad you found this blog — hope you’ll comment on future posts :-)


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