“Good stories are not written. They are rewritten.” Phyllis Whitney

“The first draft is a skeleton….just bare bones.

The rest of the story comes later with revising.” Judy Blume 

Judy Blume knows a lot about writing for children and understands that revising is part of the writing process. Do check out her site as she has a lot to offer new writers.

The topic today is revision or rewriting. From books for the very young to fiction for adults. All writers share one common practice–rewriting. I have learned this first hand with the publication of my new book Stink Bomb.

Telling you that a book must be rewritten, revised, edited, etc. is one thing. Doing the hard work of rearranging the words is another task entirely. Revising seems like a daunting task, but in the end the well crafted manuscript is worth the effort.

Elmore Leonard put it this way- “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”

In my book Stink Bomb, the rewriting process meant seeing the story more clearly through the main character’s point of view. Often, that’s what the process of rewriting entails–following your POV character more closely as they wander through each of your scenes. Revising can also mean removing a minor character, changing the setting, or making the dialogue sound more relevant for your audience. Revising usually means cutting parts of a story as well.

A tip if you’re about to do some rework on your current novel or essay. Print it out, grab some colorful pens, and go to a different location. In other words, get out of your normal work environment as you attempt to look at your writing piece with fresh eyes.