Dina Friedman's Monthly Writing Advice

Vol. 1 # 2, June 2001 - Revision

Sign up below!

___________________________

ALSO AVAILABLE: Shel Horowitz's Monthly Frugal Fun Tips
Shel Horowitz's Monthly Frugal Maketing Tips
Subscribe with a blank e-mail to
mailto:FrugalFunTips-subscribe@topica.com mailto:FrugalMarketingTips-subscribe@topica.com

Words are often golden-especially if you wrote them yourself. However, they're not always right. How do you revise without cutting out the life juice of your original thoughts? How do you know what's already good and what could be better? Revision, like writing, is a process that can improve with practice. Here are some tips for getting started on this important phase of your writing journey

(1) First and foremost, think of revision as "re-vision", seeing something again rather than correcting it. This works best if you give yourself some distance from the original draft. If possible, wait a day or more before revising. If not possible, wait at least a few minutes. Try not to wait too long, because then you might lose your original train of thought.

(2) Look at "big picture" issues first. Ask yourself what is the purpose of the piece you are writing? What is the message you want to get across? Then read to determine how well you've done this. Where did you go off on irrelevant tangents? What needs to be clarified or expanded? Revision in this context is a process of adding or subtracting material, rather than changing a word or a punctuation mark here and there. If you need to cut something you absolutely adore, make a new computer file for it. Perhaps it will find a home in a different piece of writing.

(3) Be ruthless, but loving. To the extent possible, think of your work as someone else's, and you as their reader or ally. What would you do to help them? Look at revision as an opportunity to employ your best wisdom, rather than beat yourself up for not being perfect on the first go around.

(4) Save old drafts. Sometimes, we become overzealous in our effort to revise, taking out an essential piece of clarifying information, an illuminating character trait, a metaphor that holds a whole poem together. Some writing theorists suggest writing several drafts of a piece without looking at the previous ones, then taking what's best in each of them and compiling them into a whole.

(5) Pick one revision issue to pay attention to at a time: character, plot, argument, meaning, language, tone, etc. Yes, this does mean you have to go over something until you're absolutely sick of it, but it also means the final product will shine. For more information, read Donald Murray's, THE CRAFT OF REVISION, an excellent resource.

(6) Save the sentence-level errors for last. This is really editing, rather than revision, and we'll address it in the next tip sheet.

_______
ABOUT THIS TIPSHEET:
Once a month, Dina Friedman sends out a Writing Advice Tip covering some aspect of writing: overcoming writer's block, grammar and usage hints, vocabulary builders, etc.
A prize-winning fiction writer, playwright and poet, she teaches in the Speaking, Arguing and Writing program at Mount Holyoke College. She is available for individual consultations either in person (western Massachusetts) or online.

Feel free to pass this newsletter in its entirety (including the subscribe/unsubscribe info) to a friend--or a bunch of friends.
--
--
_________________________
Dina Friedman, mailto:dina@frugalfun.com ,
877-FRUGALFUN/413-586-2388
* Manuscript Consulting * Editing * Training in Writing and Speaking * Overcoming Writers Block * Resumes and Career Services
Please visit our 300+ page website at http://www.frugalfun.com for free marketing advice, arts/travel/business zines & more: Fax: 617-249-0153
_____________________________

A monthly tip covering writing technique, grammar, creativity, or overcoming writer's block Visit http://www.accuratewriting.com


Dina Friedman, M.S.W., has worked with individuals and groups on issues for thirteen years. A published fiction writer, poet, playwright, and journalist and winner of several awards and honors, she coordinates academic writing workshops for Mount Holyoke College. She has taught rhetoric, English Comp, and creative writing at the University of Massachusetts, Holyoke Community College, and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

You can use our expertise for what you need most: counseling on writer's block, an exercise to get started or get through the stuck places, a thorough edit, help generating ideas, a consult, or just someone to check in with to keep your project going...

On projects involving business marketing or large nonfiction, you may be working with Shel Horowitz, author of five nonfiction books and more than 800 articles. Since founding Accurate Writing & More in 1981, he has worked with numerous business owners, students, and employees to improve their writing.

Please click here to get started--this will send a message to dina@frugalfun.com entitled WritingCoaching--or call 800.683.9673 or 413.586.2388 (9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time).

Accurate Writing
Main Page

Writing and Editing Pages

Writing and Editing Services

Manuscript Review/Critique

Publishing Consulting


Marketing & Entrepreneurial Services Pages

Career Services Pages

Search Our Site






[ Marketing and Copywriting Services ]     [ Resume and Career Services ]
[ Writing and Editing Services ]



Clean and Green Marketing

Our Privacy Policy

Visit our sister site, http://www.frugalfun.com, for over 1,000 articles to save you money, build your career, and have more fun--and to preview our money-saving books. 

Visit FrugalMarketing.com for great tips, articles and other resources for marketers.

Find ethical, cooperative, and profitable business success at PrincipledProfit.com


Accurate Writing & More • Established 1981 (Cyberspace, 1994)
16 Barstow Lane, Hadley, MA 01035 USA
413.586.2388

An easy drive from Amherst, MA (15 minutes), Northampton, MA (15 minutes), Springfield, MA (25 minutes), Greenfield, MA (25 minutes), Holyoke, MA (20 minutes), Chicopee, MA (20 minutes), Hartford, CT (45 minutes), and Brattleboro, VT (45 minutes). Near Skinner State Park and the Mount Holyoke Range.

http://www.accuratewriting.com
http://www.greenandprofitable.com
http://www.frugalmarketing.com