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Revision: A Creative Approach to Writing and Rewriting Fiction Hardcover – March 1, 1997
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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For beginning writers, he sets out a process for successfully planning, writing and revising your work. I'm incorporating much of his process into my own and can already see the benefits. His process servees as a great starting point as you develop your own personal writing process. But he goes beyond the usual "plan what you'll be writing, write it, then revise until the true story comes out." He goes into detail about the how and why of each step.
This is where the book really shines. He breaks story revision down into several stages, and shows us what to look for at each stage. By first looking for the larger, structural problems in the story, we can move around sections of the story, add or remove characters, or delete unnecessary sections completely, before we get into the nitty-gritty of dialogue and line edits. It makes no sense to polish the dialogue of a character that you'll remove later, or line editing a flashback that will be completely cut anyway.
Much like a sculptor who roughs out the shape of her statue, then refines that shape, and then finally puts in the fine details, Mr. Kaplan leads us through carving out the rough shape of our story from that first draft, then refining it step by step into a finished, polished piece of art.
But he doesn't just point out the process. He shows us how to fix the various problems we find at each stage, and through the examples shows us how each fix improves the work. I haven't found another resource yet that does this.
With our own work, it can be easy to overlook problems on the page when the story seems so perfect in our heads. I expect that I will always keep this book nearby when revising my work, if only as a guide that points out what to look for as I pull and trim my rought drafts into final, publishable shape.
Using "Revision" extensively as I write my next MG adventure.