marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

backburning

The most important rule about revision.

Don't start doing it at once.  Take the new first draft and shove it onto the backburner.  Let it stew back there for a while.  A week maybe, or a month.  Depends on the writer, so experimentation is probably wise, but revision improves that way.

Well, unless you already know what revisions you need.  Then you can revise it immediately -- and shove the second draft to the backburner.

Sometimes it's because the muse keeps on playing with the notions and will come with some brilliant ideas.

But chiefly it's because in the throes of composition, you get too into the story.  You need some distance in order to revise.  Revising too soon means that you will read what you thought you wrote, what you felt inspired to write, and not the cold hard fact of what you actually did write.

(Beta readers can help here, but I recommend that backburner first.  Because once you have burned your beta readers, they will no longer be able to give you an untouched vision of what the story looks like on first reading.  They remember that your Rapunzel escaped from the tower on her own at the end, and no longer notice that there is no foreshadowing leading up to it.)
Tags: revision, writing habits
Subscribe

  • weaving another thread

    Oh, my. This story bursts past in outlines in New and Unusual Ways. The entire -- long -- episode where she gets taken on a journey and shown a lot…

  • where you are going

    If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. Yogi Berra

  • first lessons

    The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 0 comments