Writing Perspective – Day 8 of 31

By Valerie Routhieaux

Day 8 – Revisions

When you complete the first draft of your work, whether it’s a novel, fiction or non-fiction, short story, magazine article, or poem, it’s time for revision.

You might wonder how you could revise poetry. Believe me, you can. You might not see much poetry from me, but I write it when the spirit moves me.

Those poems, as simple as they are, can go through a lot of revision to get them right. The one I have in my book; Thread of Evidence, went through a lot of revisions. What made it hard is the fact it’s a limerick, something I don’t write often, but did for the book.

However, most of my revision is done in my novels, and I’m certain if you’re a writer with books published or waiting on back burners for the right moment to publish, you revised them.

Revision isn’t editing, and yet it is. I did two major revisions of my novels. The first was Scarred. I finished writing it in six months, then heard a story on the radio for the same time period of my novel, and completely revised the background for Scarred. I didn’t revise the story, only the characters’ backgrounds. That took another six months.

The other book I did a complete revision on was Thread of Evidence. When I originally finished it and read it, I realized how boring the book was and needed to instill life into it. When I finished it the second time, it is what I’ve been working on in the last year for publication.

What is revision? Revision takes your story and makes it better than it was. It looks at the three parts of the novel, beginning, middle, and end. It looks at the whole work to find holes that need filling. It’s the time when you put flesh, sinew, muscle, and bones on your novel and bring it to life. It’s when your characters start talking to you and telling you their personal story. It’s when you develop the personalities of your characters. It’s when you get to know your characters so well, you know how they will act in any situation.

You never stop revising until that final moment when your publisher makes it a book for someone besides you to read. If you’ve ever written anything, even a blog post, have you made changes to it before you hit the submit button? Did you go back and remember something you almost forgot to mention? That’s a revision.

Tomorrow’s Perspective: Resources