Revision Strategies For Creative Writing

Revision Strategies For Creative Writing-15
I can let everything else go (I didn’t to tighten the rest of the conversation or add the stage business).

I can let everything else go (I didn’t to tighten the rest of the conversation or add the stage business).

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So why is A talking and reacting as if he/she doesn’t know it? I did go over the whole scene looking for other potential revisions, and the whole fix didn’t take more than ten minutes to do and get back to work on the leading edge of the story.

Most of my rolling revisions are like this: they’re matters of plot, characterization, setting, or backstory that I realize are inconsistent with what I am currently writing, and that I have to fix before I go on.

is soon to be adapted for film and television by Lin-Manuel Miranda, in case you hadn’t heard—in which he describes, step-by-step, his revision process over a single night. It’s illuminating, and I wound up digging around on the Internet for more personal stories of editing strategies, investigating the revision processes of a number of celebrated contemporary writers of fantasy, realism, and young adult fiction. I’ll try and read it aloud the next time I do a reading, in order to find out what I can about it, including places where what I wrote was not what I meant, and I’ll fix what I find. Personally, I think you learn more from finishing things, from seeing them in print, wincing, and then figuring out what you did wrong, than you could ever do from eternally rewriting the same thing.

So in the interest of stealing from those who have succeeded, read on. But that’s me, and I came from comics where I simply didn’t have the liberty of rewriting a story until I was happy with it, because it needed to be out that month, so I needed to get it more or less right first time.

Patrick Rothfuss: “Every writer has their own way of doing things. Once I disliked a Sandman story on proofreading it so much that I asked if it could be pulled and buried and was told no, it couldn’t, which is why the world got to read the Emperor Norton story, “Three Septembers and a January,” although I no longer have any idea why I thought it was a bad story, and I’m pleased that Tom Peyer ignored my yelps.” [Read more here] J. Rowling: An object lesson: [More and transcript here] Patricia C.

I can only talk about *my* revision process, because that’s the only one I know. Changed the name of a mythic figure in the world to something that sounds better. Spent some time figuring out the particular mechanisms of sygaldry to prevent consistency problems. Wrede: “I’ve been a rolling-reviser since my earliest writing, back in the Jurassic Era before computers and word processors (and believe me, it is No Fun At All being a rolling-reviser when “cut and paste” means spending half an hour physically cutting your pages apart and then taping them back together with the paragraphs in a different order).If I am not happy with a line before a reading, I’ll gladly edit the text in my book so that I’ll feel comfortable reading it to an audience.Text and language is alive so it’s always changing. [Read more here] Kelly Link: “I redraft as I go—whenever I get stuck in a short story, I go back to the beginning and revise my way down to where I left off.These are very, very long stories that I write, but you could also call them extremely condensed novels.I feel like I start with a tremendous amount of material and just keep boiling it down.Over the course of the next couple of months I’ll see a relationship among my poems and I’ll ask them what they are saying to one another.Once I sense some answers, the poems will develop their own identity and the theme/obsessions of my work will rise to the surface in more realized poems. I have been known to cross out words and add lines to my books of poetry.Usually I’ve reworked the first couple of pages anywhere from twenty to over 100 times by the time I get to the ending.It’s hard to figure out how much I eliminate—often it’s more that I’m switching out or reworking phrases or sentences or paragraphs (rarely scenes).” [Read more here] Deborah Eisenberg: “It takes me a very, very long time to write a story, to write a piece of fiction, whatever you call the fiction that I write.Still, you aren’t the first person to ask about this. It is part of my process because my backbrain simply will not cooperate if it isn’t really, really sure that what I have already written is a solid foundation for whatever is currently at the leading edge of the story.So I decided to take some notes on what exactly I did over the course of a night’s revision. For instance, in the current WIP, I started a new scene in Chapter 11 and a piece of unexpected backstory showed up for one of the characters.

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