Revision and laser eye surgery

“Revising is like being an optometrist—always asking, ‘Is it better like this? Or like this?’” —George Saunders, quote from “The Alchemy Required to Finish a Novel,” by Grant Faulkner, Writers Digest, Nov-Dec 2021 “As you work through revisions, you see your story from all angles and you discover things you wouldn’t have ordinarily been able to see. A deep revision can give you the clear vision of laser eye surgery.” —Grant Faulkner #justwrite #amwriting #iamawriter #creative writing


Write hot. Revise Cool.

“As Ray Bradbury says, don’t rewrite—relive. Your fiction is about creating emotion in the reader, and you can’t do that well without feeling it yourself.” —”The Geyser Approach To Revision,” James Scott Bell, July/August 2011 Writer’s Digest Note from Marlene: This is true for memoir writing also. “You’ve finished your first draft . . . You’ve written hot. Now you’re ready to revise cool with the help of creative spurts. . . . wait at least two weeks before you do a first read-through of a draft. Then, go through it as fast as possible, as if you were a reader, resisting the urge to tweak anything just yet.” Good advice for those who can do this. This isn’t my style, but it might be yours. I do agree with waiting to revise. Let go of the attachment to your writing, your beautiful writing. Keep your darlings in a separate…

Guest Bloggers

Revision Is Your Friend. Really.

Guest Blogger Rachael Herron writes about one of my favorite topics: Revision: I’m in the middle of revision of a book, and I’m swimming in the water I love. What I adore about revision is this: I know the world. I invented it, after all! When I open the document, I’m right in the middle of something I understand. It’s much easier, for me, to drop in for hours and rest on the page. It’s also easier to come out of, to shake off. First drafts remain torture for me. Many writers love first drafts, and I can admit that sometimes, the writing of new words is glorious. You surprise yourself with a turn of phrase that you’re pretty sure is genius and has probably never been said before. The plot bends and a tree you wrote about comes to life and points a branched finger in a direction you…