Wordsmith Wednesday…Some Thoughts about Revision

In writing “Winter is Past,” I spent much more time on editing than on writing–but that’s part of the package, isn’t it? Now that I’ve completed the first draft of “The Sin of His Father,” I’m getting geared up for revisiting what I’ve written. While editing can be somewhat tedious, there are bursts of creative bliss that make the task exciting.

I approached novel #2–“The Sin of His Father”–from a totally different direction than my first novel. I wrote “Winter is Past” without an outline and without a clue as to what would happen next. The plot did unfold eventually but I got lost many times, left story lines incomplete and found numerous contradictions in the process of rewriting. Because of this, I had to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. I can’t count how many drafts I dumped into the recycle bin.

My approach to “The Sin of His Father” has been the opposite. A few years ago I wakened with the story and pulled myself out of bed at 3 AM to outline in bold strokes. A couple of months later, I went to the desert and completed a detailed outline along with character, setting and scene descriptions. The actual writing wasn’t enslaved to the road map, though. I’m amazed at how the characters continue to take me to unexpected places; twists and turns surprise me along the way. But with the outline I have an idea of where to go next. The scenic routes I follow find their way back to the main highway sooner or later.

My almost-daily writing routine included a quick edit of the previous session’s work. Other than that, I did not allow myself to look back over the entire manuscript. This has hastened the completion of the first draft, but who knows what awaits me when I set about revising.

Since becoming involved in poetry communities, I’ve put aside that manuscript. Now with the holidays approaching, the time crunch is even more obvious but it’s time. I’ve given my first draft to a friend from my writing critique group to review. It’s waiting for me to dig in. Next week, I’ll discuss some of the specifics that I’ve found useful in the process of revision.


5 thoughts on “Wordsmith Wednesday…Some Thoughts about Revision

  1. trisha says:

    best of luck for your new novel.


  2. trisha says:

    i so agree with you, editing and rewriting a story is really a very boring thing.

    thanks for sharing how you write stories, may be i too will try your outline style. first the outline, then outline with characters and then the story should be fitted in.


  3. Rewriting is writing to me. I love it. It’s the most fun part. Refine. Refine. Refine. I don’t do it so much with my online work and maybe it shows. But I absolutely do it with longer pieces that I have time to flesh out.

    Enjoy your work. Thanks for sharing your perspectives and techniques. You enrich the community for us all.

    Good luck … fingers crossed for a publisher! 🙂


  4. Jim says:

    I’m glad you are going to bear down on the writing. The poetry community is a fun place to be. You feel good with the more comments they bring but the price we pay then is measured in time.
    Thank you for your visit and nice comment. Even that Senryū has had a first stanza change. The first write was more gross that I really wanted. 🙂


  5. souldipper says:

    Appreciate having an inside peek at your approach. Thanks for being willing to “expose” yourself to those of us untried.


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