“I love revision. To me that feels like art[,] pulling the thread of your ending all the way back to the beginning, to work on the grace and fluidity and architecture of a story, that is your real art. Slogging through a first draft is like hoeing a row of corn. You’re just happy when you get to the end.”
– Barbara Kingsolver, quoted in the Missoulian 11/22/09, in an article reprinted from the Minneapolis Star Tribune
“No thinking – that comes later. You write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is… to write, not to think!”
— William Forrester, as played by Sean Connery in Finding Forrester
Revision often does require a scalpel, but I do love this contrast!
“The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon.”
─ Robert Cormier
The quotes on just keep coming.
“Books aren’t written – they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.”
─ Michael Crichton
In writing world, November is known as NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. Participants pledge to write 50,000 words in a month — that’s about 2/3 of a typical cozy mystery, maybe half of a typical thriller. It takes determination, a comfy chair, and 1,667 words a day. I didn’t participate, but for those of you who did, I offer a month of quotes on revision!
“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything good.”
– William Faulkner
“The first draft is the story that excites me. The goal of the rewrite is to make the readers see the same story I see.”
— Laurie R. King, at Bouchercon, the International Mystery Convention, October 2015