1. JohnNoZ
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    JohnNoZ Member

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    Revision and Editing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by JohnNoZ, Feb 26, 2009.

    What are your revision and editing processes? Do you have a method that you follow when soliciting criticism?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    This perhaps better suited to the Writing Issues -> Reviewing forum, or at least the second half is. You may find some helpful strategies if you look there.

    Nevertheless, revision is part of the writing priocess, so it does somewhat belong here as well.

    For my part, I sit on the completed first draft for a couple days. During that time, my mind picks at it in the background, but instead of going straight back and editing it every time one of those thoughts nag me, I let that couple of days run out. Then, when I finally run through it and edit the draft, I have a much clearer idea of what is needed.

    If it's a novel, the draft I work with is typically a chapter. I don't have a completed first draft of a full novel yet, but I think the process on the full work will be similar, except probably a longer "settling time" between the read-through and starting the edits. I may need to take notes on the nags in tat case - I don't, for a short story or poem.

    I don't normally have major SPaG problems, although my typing is horrible. Some mistakes get through, but each proofreading pass eliminates the worst of those. I'm usually more concerned with pacing and clarity, and the quality of plot and character development.
     
  3. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I try to write stories the best I can the first time so I won't need to edit/revise them. Any additional work I do comes in the proofreading, when I tweak sentences here and there and look for typos and plot errors. That's about it, until a few years have passed and perhaps then I see that my skills have progressed enough that I should redo something.

    I don't tend to solicit criticism since most people are more interested in commenting on word choice and things that aren't so much wrong as just a matter of preference (for the most part I already understand grammar and spelling), and I'm not looking for that. If I use an adverb or a speech tag it's because I want to; I'm not poring over every single word choice as I'm not trying to get published. On my written items online I include a note stating this and that any comments I'm interested in should deal with matters of characterization, plot, theme, etc., since that's what I wish to hear about, good or bad. (Though in terms of "bad," I'll usually only heed advice if it applies and isn't just a choice I made in the writing. I've had somebody, e. g., say things like I should re-rewrite and retitle a story and split it in two because the focus has shifted to a different main character--well, that's good for them to suggest, but it's my story and I have no desire to do that. *shrug*)
     
  4. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I try to revise while writing.

    I write a paragraph, and then look it over and make changes, unless the ideas are flowing quickly, then I can't stop. I wait for that spurt to run out, then I go back and revise what I just typed. After I finish the story or chapter, I proofread, trying to catch any typos and such.

    I suck at catching errors in my own work even if I let it sit for two months. I would much rather just higher an editor to do that.
     
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  5. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    My first draft is longhand, so the first "revision" pass is when I'm typing it. The second pass is on a printout of what I typed. Then I add the revisions to the typed document.

    For critique, I belong to a writer's workshop and a novel incubator. They give me the honest, knowledgeable feedback to note on a master printout that will be used for a good polishing pass when the manuscript is done.
     
  6. Flozzie
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    Flozzie Active Member

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    I write what comes to mind, and then I edit until I'm happy with what I've got.
    I tend to edit a piece over and over again. Apart from editing the whole piece at once I also go back to it on several occasions. Then I tend to change words and phrases until I'm satisfied with what I've got.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no fixed 'process' really... for short works, i just finish whatever i'm writing and then do a careful proofread, fixing any typos or goofs i find... most often i'll write a piece in longhand first, then transfer it to the computer, which is when i do any minor revising as i type... for all but 1-page and under pieces of poetry, i do the final proofing on a printout...

    for long stuff like a screenplay or book, that i can't complete in one sitting, i might do some touching up on previous parts, as i scroll through to get to where i'd stopped... but again, i mostly just keep going till i get to the end and then do a proofread/edit...

    well, i don't really solicit critiques, so don't have any 'method'... if i want to get someone whose opinion i trust to look over something i just wrote, i simply send it to them and ask if it 'works'...

    the rare times i post a piece of my poetry on a writing site it's done for reaction to the content, not for feedback on the writing, but there have been occasions when a good suggestion resulted in a minor change...
     

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