Revision

Started re-reading Jeff VanderMeer Wonderbook this week. Find myself coming back to this paragraph, over and over, as I start typing up the novel I wrote in the lead-up to GenreCon:

In theory, the process of revision is very simple. As David Madden writes in his brilliant book Revising Fiction, revision means asking questions about each chapter, each scene, each paragraph, each sentence: “What effect did I want to have on the reader? Have I achieved it? If not, how may I revise to achieve my purpose?”

If it’s not the best description of why editing and revision are important parts of the writing process, I’m not sure what is. I found myself wishing I’d been smart enough to re-read the book at the start of my holidays, instead of the end, given the speed with which editing the current manuscript got cycled into the too-hard basket.

Since I haven’t magically manifested an editorial process that will allow me to tackle 480 pages of hand-written draft and transform it into a novel, I figure I may as well use someone else’s process and see how it goes. I can hardly do less than I did over the holidays.

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