Friday, July 24, 2009

"Revision is one of the exquisite pleasures of writing…." Bernard Malamud

I have no idea what Mr. Malamud is talking about. But I need to find out! I love telling stories and I love writing them down. I'm a pantser, so finding out what happens each scene drives me to finish a story.

But what is holding me up- REVISIONS!!!!

I have several completed manuscripts that I need to do something with! I want to be a writer and being published is a huge part of that. Unfortunately, no matter how good a story is (and I think they're good.) Each manuscript NEEDS to be revised and polished to make them shine so they can find their way out of the slush pile (that is after I submit it) and into the hands of a wonderful agent.

I know the perfect agent is waiting out there for me, but she won't ever know she wants to represent me if I don't submit. I can't to submit until I revise.

Which brings me back to Mr. Malamud. (One of the great Jewish American authors of the 20th century.) He said, "I write a book or a short story three times. Once to understand her, the second time to improve her prose, and a third to compel her to say what it still must say."

So the object of this blog is learn how to love revising. Join me on my journey as I learn and share how to revise a story to make it say what it must!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Love the new blog, Chelle :)

    Hey, when you learn to love revision, you will be sure to let me in on the secret, won't you?? LOL


  3. Hmmm...I have a few you could do...just 'cause you love them soooo much. :)

  4. I rather enjoy revising. The whole process feels to me like drawing a picture.

    Ex: first you draw the little cat playing in a basket. Then you revise by getting out the crayons and coloring it in.

    See? Fun!

    Of course, after that, you send it to the editor, and she says the kitten looks like a pitbull and everyone knows they don't fit in baskets.


    Okay, you're right. I hate revisions too.

  5. We'll embrace the wonder that is revisions. Ack, did I just say that???

  6. Good luck with the blog. Nice positive attitude about revisions. I try to edit as I go, rethinking and revising every few sentences, and then again at the end of a paragraph, and finally on a read through at the end. By then, I'm done and don't want to look at it any more. But, of course, I always miss something. Taking a step back away from the work and returning later makese good sense. I'm sure I have found results that way. But, mostly, I don't do it. So, it's no exquisite pleasure for me. But, I'll keep thinking about the process.