So how is revision like decorating? Aren't we all trained to think revision is like cutting back? I may be stretching a bit here, but we have to stretch our minds when we revise, too. Since I'm crazy, and I'm revising six mss right now, I like to think revising can be a bit like decorating. I mean we want to decorate our writing with the best language possible, and that means being sparse with adjectives and adverbs. I mean, like I'm not gonna put five wreaths on my front door, or anything. And then we have to clean up our sentences in other ways, too. I'll have to do a lot of dusting as I take down all my pictures and put up the new fancy Christmas decor. We can take each sentence, dust it off, and decide if that's really the best place for it. Think about if you want to keep it in the story, or try something new. Could it be moved closer to the beginning or the ending?
And lastly, there's attitude. Can you not tell I'm excited to get down to business and work hard to start decorating? I think we should be just as excited when it comes to revising our works of written art. I admit sometimes it's hard to always be excited about working on our mss, especially when the ending won't come to us; or we need to add, or get rid of, a character. But when all the rearranging is done, and everything is in its place, won't it be enchanting to stand back and look at the finished work? Perhaps I'll revise something else today besides my kitchen and living room...
So revising is like dusting, being selectively sparse, and getting fired up.
- Do you guys even like to dust?
- What gets you fired up about revising?
- When will you decorate your lovely homes for the holidays?