Write Now: Revision Gives Writer More Power

The stress of getting your words on a page whether a computer or real paper is behind you, and now the next stage begins — revising.

But you probably thought that you didn’t have to write any more words.

You are partly correct.

The revising portion of the writing process sometimes is mixed in with the editing portion, but we are going to separate revising from editing because you will understand if both parts treated as their own and not together.

So you scratch your head and probably wonder what is revising.

You are not alone.

I’m right there with you.

Until some years ago, I was also in your position because I was not really in love with the revising part. Of course I revised, but I did not fully understand why I did it. I mean, I had to figure out why revising is important. No one really told me why because no one really told me about the writing process. I knew the process was there, and that I was using it, but the reason wasn’t clear. And as soon as I understood the reason, my writing took a giant leap forward. Not only did I have power over my words, but, now, I had gained another level of power, and it, as I found out, made me a better writer. I understood what I was doing. It was like I was given a second chance, and now I just revise without thinking that I have to revise.

It’s part of my writing routine.

Now even though writers use the process, each writer will use each part of the process differently. And that is OK. As long as the writer is using the parts, the writer will gain accuracy, speed, and clarity when writing.

It happened to me.

There is so much one can do when revising, that one may not know where to start. That’s OK because you can start anywhere on your rough draft. According to www.dailywritingtips.com, “Revising your work is about making ‘big picture’ changes. You might remove whole sections, rewrite entire paragraphs, and add in information which you’ve realized the reader will need. Everyone needs to revise — even talented writers.”

Take a look at that last line where it reads that everyone needs to revise. Plainly, with no frills or gadgets you have seen on TV, the writer completes the revision. You are in the batter’s box facing a time game, runner on third base, with two outs, and a 0-2 count. You’re not swing for the fences, but trying to put the ball in play, so the other team will have field the ball cleaning to make the out. And if the other team doesn’t make the play, you are safe at first and the runner on third scores. Because you have practiced scenarios like that, that routine is not out of the ordinary for you.

It’s the same for writing. You have a routine, and you stick to it because it works for you.

So dailywritingtips.com suggests that when one is revising one should be able to add, rearrange, remove, and replace sections, sentences, and words. Below are the tips the site recommends.

ADDING

What else does the reader need to know? If you haven’t met the required word-count, what areas could you expand on? This is a good point to go back to your prewriting notes — look for ideas which you didn’t use.

REARRANGING

Even when you’ve planned your piece, sections may need rearranging. Perhaps as you wrote your essay, you found that the argument would flow better if you reordered your paragraphs. Maybe you’ve written a short story that drags in the middle but packs in too much at the end.

REMOVING

Sometimes, one of your ideas doesn’t work out. Perhaps you’ve gone over the word count, and you need to take out a few paragraphs. Maybe that funny story doesn’t really fit with the rest of your article.

See WRITER,

Page B7

From Page B6

REPLACING

Would more vivid details help bring your piece to life? Do you need to look for stronger examples and quotations to support your argument? If a particular paragraph isn’t working, try rewriting it.

So, if you use the right approach, you can use the writing process as a guide.

For now you have completed the revising step.

Put your paper down and take a break. You have earned it.

Get ready for the next step — editing.

It’s that simple.

It’s that hard.

COMMENTS