Sunday, August 5, 2012

Two Fine Lines Between Revise and Revive

Revise, revise, revise. And when you think you are done revising, revise again. You hear that word all the time in writing books and at conferences. But when does revising turn to reviving?
It’s a fine line really. Well, actually two fine lines.
First, revision is only revision when you let the pen flow freely over the page. Don’t restrict yourself to the words you have already written. If you do, your revisions are only reviving your story. It may help while you are working on it, but once you stop, your story has flat lined yet again.
Second, listen to the constructive criticism from others. Sure, it hurts but you can only linger on that pain for so long. If you revise without listening, you are only reviving. Hear the word no in your rejection letters. But don’t let it stop you. No can be a hard word to hear but it is even harsher on your book. Read between the lines of the comments in your critiques and make the changes accordingly. Stand true to the story you want to tell but know when to let it rest as well. Pushing it too hard can cause the need to revive.