072: Look in Your Junk Drawer

Look in Your Junk Drawer

Rethink, Restore, Revise

October 13, 2017


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Personally, I love revising. I love the process of carving really good prose out of potentially questionable prose. For some, revision is more of a necessary evil, and one you must constantly, consciously focus on or else the old "let's make up a new story instead" nature can take over, and you may end up sending things out that really aren't ready. I've critiqued a lot of pieces of students and clients, often after it’s been rejected, and I'd say the number one reason a good piece doesn't get accepted is that it's good, but it's not ready. It could have been great, but the writer stopped at good enough.

Perhaps sometimes "good enough" will get you the contract and get you published. But, if you’re self publishing it'll also tend to get reviews about "uneven pacing" or "rushed endings" or even just reviews with the word "rough" thrown in. Revision is about smooth. It smooths the raw edges where the writer's intent bashes against the writer's speed. Revision fixes continuity errors. It searches for the theme and makes it clearer and cleaner. Revision gets rid of most (though probably not all) typos and grammar errors. Revision makes sure the work is orderly.

In some ways, revision is a bit like cleaning out your junk drawer

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Katie Davis
October 16, 2017

You're welcome, Judy, I am so glad (and gratified!) to read this comment. Please subscribe to the show to get more support and helpful tips here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/writing-for-children/id1121077274 and I hope you'll join our Facebook group (anyone can join, not just students) at https://www.facebook.com/groups/instituteofchildrensliterature/. See you there soon, I hope!

October 16, 2017

I am a student of ICL and was in the process of rewriting my lesson 4 to complete lesson 7(Revise Assisgnment). I took a break, checked my email and this Pod Cast was sent to me! Talk about writing timing!! I really appreciate my instructor Lori!! We've never met but she's been encouraging me to empty my Junk Draw on every assignment! In a good way that is! She's always positive in her feed back! Her favorite saying at the end of her note back to me is: "Could it be strong?" That's when I know "clean up" is coming and I get to empty out the Junk Draw on each assignment!! Thanks Katie! ICL has been a great investment in my writing experience and life in general!

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