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Revising ...Forever : Writers' Block Party • Page 2 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Revising ...Forever

What's going on in your writing world? Connect with the writing community here and talk about whatever's on your mind.
afewmore
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Re: Revising ...Forever

Postby afewmore » Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:39 pm

Isa - I am like you. I revised the manuscript for my two books many, many times, probably more than 25 times. I felt each time it got better. I found it particularly useful to put down the manuscript for a couple of weeks and to read other writers. When I picked it back up I came back with a fresh set of eyes and it was clearly better. We are all different, some people can bang something out and then revise it only once or twice. I am not like that, I find value in the repetition of reviewing it. One other technique I use is to read the book in reverse order: ie, start with the last chapter and read then, then read the penultimate chapter, and go in reverse. It gives you a much different feel.

I read about a famous sportswriter at the New Yorker who would read through is articles scores of time before each one is published and he would agonize over every comma. His is recognized as some of the best of the genre, so there is nothing wrong with seeking perfection!

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Isa Halley
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Re: Revising ...Forever

Postby Isa Halley » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:32 pm

Dear Kindred Spirit, thank you very much for your reply. I feel you do understand. I can't let go until it flows. I'm prepared to go through it as many times as necessary. I will read the book in the reverse order. This is a genius advice. It will be very beneficial.

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Loren Killdeer
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Re: Revising ...Forever

Postby Loren Killdeer » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:04 am

That's the thing about artists. Nothing ever will look perfect! So try to be more comprensive about your writing.
To spoil it it's not the major problem, the problem is that you can lose the pleasure in writing, and that could happen if you keep on correcting and you over-saturated about the topic.

My advise: Leave it there. Continue writing, take a break and then make the one LAST correction. You'll see that it wasn't as bad as you first thought.

Don't obsess! Best of lucks!
“Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very;' your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
― Mark Twain



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Isa Halley
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Re: Revising ...Forever

Postby Isa Halley » Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:21 am

Thanks so much!! I do appreciate your insights. Yes, I got obsessed a bit with making it spot on. But actually, I said to myself lately- I'll do it ONE LAST TIME and that's it- finito.
Coz I'm a bit sick of it now.

IlsaPup
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Re: Revising ...Forever

Postby IlsaPup » Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:43 pm

That's the whole problem is that you revise looking for perfection to the point that you're sick of the whole thing. Sadly, you can ruin a piece by doing this, which I have done. It wasn't until I entered my work for critique group that I got real help. So I got to do more revisions but with outside critiques from people who do not know me, who give an honest opinion. What I learned is what I 'mean' in the writing & how the reader perceives my meaning can sometimes be worlds apart. It's the best help I've had & the work is rounding out to the point where I have hope it will be published. That would not have happened without the critique group because I could not see what they did.

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Isa Halley
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Re: Revising ...Forever

Postby Isa Halley » Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:27 pm


Hannah Spencer
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Re: Revising ...Forever

Postby Hannah Spencer » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:52 am

If you are worried about your English, can you get somebody (preferably not a friend who is not afraid of hurting your feelings!) to to read the MS for clarity? Perhaps who would fit your target audience? They could highlight anything unclear that could be improved.
I can easily do twelve or more drafts before I'm happy- aiming for perfection is better than submitting shoddy work, so I think you're doing the right thing - but you do have to draw a line somewhere. Have the confidence to submit and at least get a second opinion.

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Re: Revising ...Forever

Postby williamadams » Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:18 pm


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Re: Revising ...Forever

Postby williamadams » Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:20 pm


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Isa Halley
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Re: Revising ...Forever

Postby Isa Halley » Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:28 pm

Thanks a lot for your advice :)

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