I am still working on that story I need to re-submit to that e-zine. They are still really interested in it, but it needs revisions. Everyone has their own revision process. Yes, there are “guidelines” as to what you should do to revise a piece, but that process doesn’t work for everyone. The way an author can make their piece really shine is to polish it in the way they know works best for them.
My Revision Process
It has taken me years to figure out a process that works for me and that I feel produces a finished piece that is the best it can be in that moment. This is my revision process:
- Write it out without any thoughts as to how good or bad the piece is
- Let it sit for a day or two
- Go back through and edit for setting, plot, overall structure, etc.
- Let it sit again
- Then go through and edit for grammar (you will have to do this several times but it’s worth it)
- Have at least two critique partners that you trust to be honest with you about what your piece needs and give them the time they need to read through it so they can give comments, make any marks, etc.
- Use those notes to re-edit your piece for setting, plot, structure, etc.
- Then go back and do line edits for grammar once again
- Let it sit for two to three days
- Go back through and read thoroughly to ensure the piece is the best it can be and that you’re happy with it
So, this is my process. Yes, there are a lot of steps, but it is worth it to me because it produces a finished written piece that I’m content with and that I feel is the best I can write.
But what works for me may not work the best for you. There are many other authors who have come up with their own revision processes that work for them.
Let’s take a look at some of them.
Other Revision Processes
Warren Wilson College has an excellent document that lists out steps that are easy to follow when revising any creative writing piece. It also helps you to keep from struggling with that “block” that can sometimes crop up when in the middle of writing or editing a piece. You can find this document HERE. It is in a PDF format for easy printing.
I found a really great POST on Find Your Creative Muse that goes into a lot more depth as to what to revise. Not only that but it tells you why you should be revising it. Knowing why you are doing something definitely gives you a lot more insight as to why the process works the way it does and certainly goes to show you that many people have “revised” the tried and true revision process to suit their own needs, but the basic bones of that process will always be there because they truly do work.
What is Your Revision Process?
Now that you know what my own revision process is and you have read a bit more about why the revision process works as it does, plus how an actual college suggests their students to revise their pieces, I would like to know why your own revision process is.
- Have you thought about the way you revise your work?
- Do you even revise before you post your work for others to read?
- Are you open to the suggestions of others and do you make changes based on that feedback?
- When making changes to your work, do you do so in a methodical process like those listed above?
I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment with your thoughts on this. Better yet, write a blog post about your own revision process and link it here so others can read about it as well!