Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Revision hell

Some writers love the second draft. Having laid down the raw clay of the story, they revel in forming the loose contours into a clearly recognizable form, then moving beyond to craft it into a breathtaking final piece.

I am not one of those writers.

Last week marked the end of the first draft of a novel. Since then I've been in recovery, mooning about, staring at walls, wondering where to go from here. I've started research for a new short story that I'm eager to burst into; also, I've been leafing through this book, trying to internalize some tips. When I'm ready to revise (probably later this week), hopefully some useful advice will remain stuck inside me, and I'll be able to unstick it.

In the meantime, does anyone have any preferred revision techniques? Do you do multiple targeted revisions: once for characterization, once for tension, etc.? Or do you go in for the one-pass technique? Or maybe you're hardcore like Heinlein, and never rewrite unless an editor demands it.


[ETA: Link to Heinlein's Rules for Writing]

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