Monday, July 16, 2012

If You've Heard It Once... You Probably Need To Hear It Again

If you're a writer, and you've done your research, been around the blogosphere, and studied your craft, you've probably heard these bits of advice at least a bazillion times.

Well, I'm here to say shout testify that these things work. Yes they do! Can I get an AMEN?! Anyway, here they are:

#1: Revise revise revise!

When I finished my first draft of Daze, I had this split second thought of, okay I'm done, it's perfect. And then I sort of laughed to myself and thought, c'mon Mel, it needs to be revised once.

*cue maniacal laughter*

I've revised Daze so many times since then I've lost count. I'm sure there's a point when you can revise too much, but I haven't reached that point. Every time I go back to it I find things that can be fixed or altered- sometimes just words or sentences. I usually find things to cut. I'm going through it right now and trying to insert more voice. No matter what, you can always make your work better.

#2: Put your MS aside

This goes along with #1. I haven't looked at Daze for almost a year. I've had a few requests that I'm still waiting on and I haven't wanted to mess with it while it's out in agent-land. Coming back to it has been like greeting an old friend. It's very familiar, and yet fresh at the same time. I'm reading it again with a whole new perspective. I'm seeing things I didn't before. Set it aside for awhile- longer than a month- and then go back and see what new things you find.

#3: Practice makes... well, if not perfect, then better

You've revised, you've put your MS aside, now start something new. I know, I know, we hear that ALL the time. But it's true- practice makes perfect. Okay, our writing will never be perfect. But it will get a WHOLE lot better. Trust me. And then, after you've written a new MS and you go back to revise the old, you'll see the mistakes you used to make that hopefully you don't make anymore.

You've heard this all a million times. I know I have. But this past weekend of revising Daze yet again has just reminded me how important these pieces of writing advice are, how TRUE they are.


  1. It's been a whole year? I bet you're seeing all sorts of things now you never thought of before.
    Good luck with the editing!

  2. Man it feels like people are inside my brain today. Everyone is talking about revisions.

    And that makes me think about revisions some more. Maybe I should go do some editing.

    Good luck with the editing.

  3. I would just like to say I didn't do this. I line edited the shizz out of my MS, did some small edits and then queried. I got all no's (rightfully so) until I got an R+R that I'm currently working on. Since then I've revised it about 4 or 5 times and I can see a TREMENDOUS difference. I can't wait until I finally get that "awesomely awesome draft" and can send it back out into queryland :)

    Great post, Melanie and awesome job on getting picked for Team Michelle at Christmas in July! :) (I won an honorable mention!)

  4. That is great advice! I'm tempted to go back and revise on of my old manuscripts that needs quite a bit of work and it will give me distance for my current one.

    Good luck revising!