REVISE REVISE REVISE at SCHMOOZE SCHMOOZE SCHMOOZE in Santa Clarita
by Cindy Marcus
The amazing and inspiring Laurisa White Reyes lead the Santa Clarita Schmoozers this month, sharing her insights and wisdom in the challenging art of revision. Wow. Writers walked away with many helpful handouts as well as usable hints on how to approach the intimidating process of revising their novels. When broken down into Laurisa’s handy dandy three-step process, revising just seemed so do-able, though time consuming. However, Laurisa reminded us that time consuming is part of the writing journey as can be tediousness, but it’s that kind of dedication that turns a book from lumpy coal to a shiny diamond. Not only that, revision is really important. Competition is fierce and it’s important to put your best “word” forward.
To begin the revision process, you start with Step One. This is the developmental stage of revision, which involves making sweeping changes like revising plot, replacing character, examining pacing. After the sweeping changes have been made, it’s time to check for words usage and grammar usage. A good tip was to use that search bar in your document to find out just how many times you are using a word. Or go to wordle.org. The word “was” can be way overused. The last stage, is proofreading. Here you check for spelling and punctuation. Laurisa also shared the most common mistakes to avoid, like its vs. it’s. (its is possessive and it’s is “it is”).
She wrapped up with her 6-tips for effective revision, like read it aloud, or have a friend or your child read it to you. And don’t be afraid to seek out a professional. Editors can be expensive, but you don’t have to pay for their entire services, maybe pick and chose what you think your book will need. Does it need a sweeping revision or a line edit? Getting a professional’s eyes on it is always worth it - as are beta readers.
What a great schmooze. Can’t wait for next month!