Creative Writing And Revisions

You have an idea, you work it into a plot, you create and build your characters and you write your novel. It's finished. Wrong. It's only just begun. The creative writing process is just the first step on the road to producing a novel and exhilarating though it is there is still a great deal more work you need to do to make your novel the best it can possibly be and therefore stand a better chance of getting published.

The revision stages are vital if you wish to turn out an accomplished, exciting and professional piece of writing.

Once I have completed the first drafts of my novels I then revise, revise and revise until I know it backwards, upside down and inside out. When I first started writing many years ago it was this revision stage that I skipped, and I now know the cause of so many rejection slips from literary agents and publishers.

When giving talks I liken writing a novel to painting a picture. First you put on the wash, and draw the outlines and then you begin to fill in the details until you are happy with the perspective, the colours, the composition etc. So here is a quick checklist when revising your novel or short story. The revisions will allow you to:

  • flesh out the characters
  • analyse the structure of your novel
  • check if you have overwritten
  • ensure your story has shape
  • make sure that you are telling the story from the correct point of view
  • check that there are adequate tensions, conflicts, rhythm and pace
  • check your research and tie up any loose ends
  • ensure you are using the correct words, sentence structure and paragraphs.