Friday, October 3, 2014

The Process of Writing: Edit vs. Revision

Many people may think writing is easy. After all, you're just making things up and putting them onto paper (or these days, a computer), right? But really, it's NOT that easy!

Many writers are very meticulous, often to the point of OCD. One of my biggest problems is with proofreading. Of course, every writer needs to scrutinize their work for typing and spelling errors. Even computer spell check can miss things: the word to instead of too. And sometimes, I don't like the grammar hints it gives either. People can rely too much on the computer to help them.

But when I would proofread or edit, I often would end up revising instead. What's the difference? Well, editing usually means checking for those spelling and grammar errors. But a revision often changes the plot of the story, completely changing the tone. Revision is okay if you're working from your first draft. But not so much if you're getting ready to publish.

I had to learn the difference between editing and revising, because if I hadn't, I would never have gotten published. Recently, I became a member of an online writer's group called Scribophile. I've posted several parts of my current work in progress for critiques. And let me tell you, no one can be as ruthless as other writers! But even when a critique upset me, I would put it aside for a day to calm down, and return to it later to work it out. And I truly believe it's helping me to improve my writing to be the best it can be. For that, I am grateful.

For now, I'm putting aside the writing for a couple days as I prepare for the Author Fair I'm pparticipating in tomorrow. Sometimes you gotta just let the brain rest, and more and more I'm finding this to be true, especially after my experience with chemo. Hopefully I'll be back in writing mode on Sunday or Monday!

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