Revision, Revision, Revision!


This is a reblogging of a post from two years ago on the importance of revision. I will add that I am constantly working on revising my drafts.

charles french words reading and writing

When I teach my First Year Writing English classes, one of the points that I emphasize heavily is the need for writers to revise their work. Many beginning college students assume that writing should appear magically finished and correct after the first draft, an assumption that I attempt to dispel quickly. I speak of how the word itself—revise—mean “to re-see, to re-imagine, and then to act on that re-viewing of the draft.” Included in their revision process is the use of peer evaluation of their drafts, in which they read and respond to each other’s work under my guidance. I have to say how proud they make me as a teacher, because most students take this work seriously and improve their writing as a result. With my first year students, I generally have them do 3-4 drafts of each paper before submitting it for a grade.

I thought of this…

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16 thoughts on “Revision, Revision, Revision!

  1. Thank you for posting this critical advice. I judge contests and it is startling how many times I see good stories or writing go unrewarded because the author chose one & done. Writing truly is a process. I’m curious how many rewrites you average? I run from 7 to 13.

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  2. For me, the hard part is getting that first draft done. I enjoy rewriting. And the subsequent rewriting. Problem is, the loop of continuous progress is so much fun, I hate to let go. Factor in the nervousness one feels in surrendering one’s heart-on-paper to that heartless slush pile editor, and the rewriting process could go on forever.

    At some point ya gotta let go …

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  3. What I found excruciatingly helpful in my Tech Writing class was an assignment that kept coming back with ever-decreasing word count allowance… It made me realize that although it takes some doing, even I can get so irritated that I just shut up and start slashing and burning and condensing. Usually, for the better! It kind of drove home the importance of having a wide vocabulary and a sense of priority…Which translates nicely into fiction, economy of words, and word choice.


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