What is your process for revision?

StoryShop Forums Sharpening Your Craft Re-Writing What is your process for revision?

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Leenna Naidoo 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

  • Post
    Kasey
    Kasey
    Participant
    Do you edit and revise as you go or do you get the whole story out first and then go back to the beginning to start the revision process?
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  • Replies
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    Sophia Uhlenhoff
    Participant
    I got introduced to noveling by NaNoWriMo, which has pretty much set how I go about the revision process: I whip the first draft quickly, and with as little self-editing as possible, and then go back and revise once the whole thing is done. However, if, when I get to the middle of the book, I want to change something big or add a huge plot something, I’ll go back and seed it throughout my earlier chapters before I add the new thing.

    Also, if I haven’t written in awhile, I’ll just re-read my more recent stuff to refresh my mind, and while doing that often make a few tiny tweaks. Other than that, I try very hard to refrain from editing as I write as that just seems inefficient to me.

     

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    Kasey
    Kasey
    Participant
    Sophia, I’m with you. I’d just write. Get the whole draft out of my head, good or bad, and then go back through it with revisions, which would be with a heavy hand. If I wrote every paragraph to self-proclaimed perfection, I’d never get beyond 1000 words.
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    Will
    Participant
    I’ve done NaNoWriMo a few times and I liked it when I did it. Doing NaNoWriMo was what taught me how to buckle in and get words out on the page. I do think, however, there is something to be said for editing between writing sessions. I found that keeping to a schedule (a pretty loose schedule, in the end, but still a schedule) while writing a serialized novel meant I would have to be revising about two or three episodes behind what I was writing at the moment. Even though I ended up making some significant changes in the final draft anyways, I still thought revising content from a couple of months ago helped me clarify what I was supposed to be writing now. That was the hope, anyways.

    Holly had a pretty firm outline though, too. I’m currently trying to apply this same idea (writing a couple of sections and then revising the first section while writing the third) for a project I’m free-writing right now. Kasey and Sophia (or anyone), do you think planning versus free writing a project has any effect on when you should revise? Sophia, were you free writing your NaNoWriMo project? Or did you plan it? A little of both? What about everyone else (NaNoWriMo) or in general?

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    Leenna Naidoo
    Participant
    I do a bit of both.
    I re-read what I’ve recently written, correcting any lines and details and adding anything I feel would help the flow, then I get on with the rest of it. It usually means I don’t have a lot of rewriting or ‘patching’ to do. And often I’ll take a break to research something so I get the idea done right first time.
    But, I’m also finding that reworking my first couple of novels is easier now than it was a few years ago. I’m not so attached to the characters and that particular way of storytelling, so it’s easier to make significant edits and I’m more open to changing the order of scenes.
    I think my revision process, like my writing process, will change as I grow as a writer. So, I’ll do whatever works for now.
    I tried NanoWriMo once, but it didn’t work for me. The idea of rewriting all those words again into something more coherent seems like too much work! Though with StoryShop, I might give a try again, maybe…
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