Throw a Revision Party

In the “Revising Out Loud” Inkwell article in the January 2015 Writer’s Digest, author and playwright Joe Stollenwerk offers an interesting alternative to quietly revising your work alone—by having friends and colleagues read your work aloud over food, drink and good company. Here, he shares another method of testing your writing’s mettle.

Reading Published Work
It is tremendously beneficial to read well-written published work aloud. If you are in a writing group, you might select some passages from published novels, nonfiction, poetry, etc., to read aloud and discuss as part of your get-togethers.

I recommend making a selection based on an element of writing that you want to focus on. This might be dialogue, or first chapters, or figurative language. It might be action or romance scenes.

If your writing group decides to take this on, I recommend choosing a selection ahead of time, something that is short enough to be read aloud during part of your group meeting, but long enough to accomplish what you are hoping it will do for the group. Have everyone read it ahead of time so that the reading aloud is not the first time the group has read it.

You might want to designate someone to lead discussion, or at least start it off, with a few pointed questions for the group to reflect on regarding this scene or passage.


If you enjoyed this helpful revision tip, be sure to check out the feature-length article “Revising Out Loud”—full of outside-the-box methods for whipping your WIP into shape—in the January 2015 Writer’s Digest.

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