Revision Season

I won’t be posting reviews for a couple of weeks. It’s not that I’m putting my 52 books challenge on hold, but I’ll be taking the time to read some novel drafts from friends to help them in revisions. I’m also putting the finishing touches on Poplar and Mint, my own novel that will be available on March 31st.

I used to dread revision and saw it as the end of the creative writing process. Creativity comes in when you write the first draft, and all of your ideas are poured out on the paper. Once revision time comes, and through fresh eyes you see that many of your creative spurts aren’t as great as you thought they were. After a time it gets discouraging.

Then I read this great article from Writer’s Digest, which put the process in a completely different light. Why shouldn’t the creative process continue when the rough draft is finished? It made sense once I opened the draft of Poplar again. Even as I cut things out, there were and still are plenty of thin spots that could use more description. Some weak scenes need strengthening. Revision isn’t just about fixing your mistakes. It’s about doing whatever you need to do to make that manuscript better.

It does get rough at times. The mistakes wear on you. But remember that every change you make is for the better, and it gets you that much closer to a polished, publishable manuscript.

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