Friday, March 02, 2007


This weekend will be all about revision. I've got a draft, and I know some of what's wrong with it. I will fix that stuff (making the character more consistent, researching how I can better incorporate the themes into the story's details).

After that, I think I'll do something new with my revision--I'll take the story scene by scene, spending time truly transporting myself into each scene so I can write really close to the characters and be true to what is going on.

Anyone have other tips, tricks, or suggestions for revising? Best Blogger Tips


Anonymous said...

Hi! I have a dull, dorky list that I sometimes use (when I'm being a good girl). Much of it has to do with mechanics, but I find that it really does help with the vivid quality of a piece. I don't have it in front of me but it goes something like this:

*highlight all "be" or "helping" verbs. Can they be strengthened with action verbs?

*highlight all passive voice. Replace it with active voice.

*check sentence structure. Is it varied?

*highlight all cliches or worn images/concepts. Delete them and say it another way.

*watch past, present, future tense, etc. and point of view. Is it consistent?

*consider pacing. does it get stuck with too many details in some places but not pause long enough in others?

*is everything in the piece absolutely necessary? (I tend to tackle prose much like poetry--all words/sentences must be making a contribution.)

*another poetry thing I try to accomplish in prose: does the work incorporate most of the five senses?

Seems like i'm missing a couple things. But I can't remember and I've probably already only stated the obvious.

Repeater said...

Both you and ti are talking about revision & its making me nervous, like I didn't do enough. Mostly just corrected based on suggestions at workshop, made a minor character stronger, etc. Damn, don't think I did enough now (I left the packet for D to mail) Long answer short (making it all about me) I don't think I have any ideas at all for you, bug. I don't know the first thing about it. In fact, I'm going to copy carolee's list & put it above my desk. A plan, that's what I need. Thanks carolee.

TI said...

Hi Bug. Carolee's advice is very practical and I will definitely use it. Thanks Carolee. Whenever I sit down to revise, I am always thinking in terms of the emotional heart of the piece. Have I found it? Have I expressed it? Is each section taking me closer to realizing it? Have I made the most of each scene?

bostonerin said...

Carolee--love your list!

To add to it: I try to determine the over-arching emotion of the story--is it surprise, discovery, frustration, etc, and look for ways to bring it out more or to contrast it with other feelings.

I also look at logistics--is everyone physically in a space? Using gestures? Can I visualize HOW they're talking?

And read aloud. You catch so many clunkers that way!!

Good luck!

TI said...

Repeater, what the heck does "enough" mean anyway? you did what you could do and I'm sure it's better than you think. REvision is a slow process. I'm feeling kind of guilty because I don't know if I'll have any new work to show for this submission.

Bug said...

Wow--Who knew that this topic would bring so many comments so quickly? And such good ones! I will use all of your ideas this week and let you know how it goes.