Matt Salesses, a pretty terrific writer of smart, tight prose, is spending July at Necessary Fiction pulling back the curtain on that bewildering, complicated, sometimes joyful and sometimes hideously frustrating process: revision. With the help of some other writers (disclosure: I am one of them), he’ll be offering advice and help and discussion and tips and more on how to navigate the tricky, sometimes savage waters of the revision process. From Matt’s pen/keyboard (probably should have just cut that attempted cliche entirely):
I have decided to launch a war on first drafts and erect the memorial to edits. Revision is where we do our most important work as writers, or at least where we can. And yet, for as much as we love and hate it, for as much as we talk about it, we don’t really talk about it. (See: What We Talk About When We Talk About Revision, which I’ve revised right out of this introduction.) I want that to change. I want us to teach revision up front when we teach writing, to demystify it, to make it the first thought rather than all reaction. One downside of workshops—which I love, don’t get me wrong—is that we only address the issues that come up. I think we can offer tips and strategies and experience and frustration from the beginning. I think we can say, this is where we’re going, and this is how we can make sure we get there.
If the rest of the tips and advice are as sage and as specific as the first twenty Matt offers in this post, this is going to be a very good month for the writer’s craft indeed. Don’t miss them.