#PromotingLiteracy: REVISION is everything

I try do a little drafting and revision everyday; as well as some reading. This writing strategy is inspired by children’s book author, Jack Gantos, who first works on draft 1 material, then revises something he previously wrote. Jack then “refills” himself with some much needed reading.

When it comes to revision, here’s what usually works for me:

I write draft 1 in a notebook. Once I finish draft 1, I put my notebook away. I may let a draft “sleep" for a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks. Stephen King believes that the first draft of a book, for example, should rest for at least six weeks. "During this time your manuscript will be safely shut away in a desk drawer, aging and (one hopes) mellowing” (King, Kindle location 2717).

When I pick up my draft again, I reread it, revise quickly noticeable things by adding carets, crossing out, etc (I skip lines while drafting to facilitate these minor revisions). Most importantly, while rereading I am also constantly asking, “What is my piece really about?” I will do more rounds of editing after revising, so there is no need to fix every little this at this point.

Major revision work takes place here. I take my best writing and try to make it better. I rewrite my whole piece, attempting to answer with every word, sentence, and paragraph my phase 2 question: “What is my piece really about?” 
Image credit: squarespace.com
Revision is everything. Re-vision: To see again. When placed side-by-side, draft 1 and my revised edition may look and feel entirely different.

The process of revising, for me, placing a little light at the end of the writing tunnel. I am either one step closer to publishing, or one step closer to receiving a few rejection emails.

Happy writing (and revising),

Wayne (Twitter handle: @rssll80)