Friday, February 24, 2012

Be wise. Revise!

"Revise, revise, revise. Revise until the dang thing stands up and sings!"

This was the advice that award-winning author Graham Salisbury had for young writers. Mr. Salisbury was the visiting author for the Junior League of Richmond's Junior Book and Author event this year. He captivated his audience, young and old alike, with tales of growing up in Hawaii, narrowly escaping vicious eels, maintaining a cool reputation amid shark attacks, and being swept out to sea during a boy scout campout at the beach. But when it came to writing, he was all about revision. "That's when the fun starts," he said. "If you want to be a writer, you want revision. You need revision. You love revision."

His words made me think about how I have come to enjoy the revision process. When I began to see the benefits that diligent it yields, I became a big fan of revision. Here are some of the things revision gives you:

- A better sense of what story you are trying to tell.
- A clearer understanding of your characters.
- Stronger dramatic moments and funnier humorous moments.
- A richer setting.
- Themes that are more fully developed and resonant.
- Consistency in all aspects of the story.

Well, the list is much longer, but that's a start. What else does revision buy you?

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