24 August 2014


I've been attending WriteOnCon, an online writing conference, and having a blast! I've had some thoughts about revising and thought I'd share them.

Revising is my favorite part of the writing process. Dragging a story kicking and screaming into the light is hard, but making it great is beyond rewarding.

I've come to the conclusion that one should NEVER revise while drunk. But writing while a bit tipsy has yielded some exciting words for me, so I've developed a new axom:

Write drunk. Revise sober.

I kind of want to get T-shirts made.

Now, as far as my own method for revising, I'm a big fan of revising on paper. I write on my computer, because I type a lot faster than I write, but when I revise, I like to imagine it's a real book and I'm fixing all the problems in it.

I have a Waterman fountain pen I like to use. It makes me feel very important.

Once I've made it all the way through the paper, I go back and type in the changes - and as I do so, I edit again. Especially when cutting down a bloated manuscript (which I am known for), the two-pass system helps me let go of things I don't really need. I took my last manuscript from 120,000 words down to 73,000 without losing any story at all. But I needed to passes to be willing to cut what needed to go.

Polishing is a different beast for me. It's said art is never finished, only abandoned, and that might be the case with polishing. I LOVE where my manuscript is right now. But if I reread it again in six months, I'm sure I'll want to change things up again. Tastes change all the time, including my own.

I don't know if there was much point to all this, but I enjoyed getting my ideas down. That's what writing's all about, after all. Maybe it'll help someone, somewhere, with their own revisions.

If nothing else, remember:

Write drunk. Revise sober.