Joe’s notes on revising

Hey, kids and teachers!  I’m revising my new novel for middle-grade kids (more on that in a different post), and I thought I’d share some brief thoughts on how I go about revising because I know that can be the most difficult concept for kids (and adults) to grasp.  Here you go:

  1. screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-3-26-43-pmBe present.  Try not to let your mind wander.  Don’t get distracted by what you’re having for lunch or about that upcoming game you have in the evening. Immerse yourself in the world and words that you have created.  
  2. Read it out loud.  Reading your work out loud helps slow you down so you can focus on the individual words and phrases.
  3. Listen.  How does it sound?  Words have rhythm.   Rhythm helps the reader organize the information you’re presenting to them.  
  4. Ask questions.  The purpose of writing is to convey meaning.  Are the words adequately conveying the scene or situation you are trying to describe?  (This includes emotion, too.)  Do any of the words or phrases distract the reader from what you are trying to say?
  5. Trust yourself.  Be confident.  Try not to get too caught up in whether something is “right” or “wrong.”  That comes later when you edit.
  6. Make Changes.  If something doesn’t make sense change it!  Don’t be afraid to cut whole phrases or sentences.  You want your work to be as concise as possible.
  7. Repeat.  Yep!  This is probably the most difficult to understand.  We can always make our writing better.

I hope that helps!