Write Now and Revise Later, or Right Now, Revise?
“I don’t write a quick draft and then revise; instead, I work slowly page by page, revising and polishing.”
– Dean Koontz
There are many ways to go about writing and revising a story, each of which is used by successful writers today. There is no single way, no magic formula, for this. It is something that is learned, experienced, and employed by each and every writer individually.
Some common methods are:
- Write an entire first draft, then go back and revise. Don’t go back and read the sentence you just wrote, just get the story down.
- Write some, revise some. This makes writing the first draft longer, but helps lessen the amount of revisions needed at the end.
- What first draft? Some writers make writing and revising a simultaneous process. It is no easy feat to make this work, and takes years of writing experience.
I, like Mr. Koontz, am one that writes a little and revises a little, adjusting the trim on the story as I fly through it. I feel this process works for me because I like to ensure that I’m moving the story in the right direction as I write it. In part, it’s because I’m afraid the story might derail as I go along, if I don’t go back and check on it. Plotting ahead of time helps this, though.
The main question I find with this process, though, is how much does one write before going back to revise? That is a question best answered by the writer employing the process, as every writer will have a different preference.
Which method of revision do you use?