Rusty Haggard Blog

Hopefully Inevitable: Growth as a Writer

“Revision is real writing.”

And resistance to that was part of my approach as I began a critical view of my novel – my first one, where I was so happy with myself that I’d actually written a novel and my second, which I took to a writing workshop for a submersion with other writers for a week into a world where that lead sentence above was carved into stone for everyone in the class. Still, I ignored it.

Now, however, I’m revising my first novel. Why? Because, ahem, “revision is real writing.” I finally let go of the original story, which in retrospect was (as someone in the writing workshop pointed out to me about my second novel) what writers would actually refer to as a “draft.” I’m doing the hard work now of thinking through the characters before going forward with the new story. It’s not easy. Writing is a lonely life. Just me and the keyboard. But it’s what I want to do.

In revising, wholesale changes occur. Dates change, characters grow and take on new names, characters’ motivations are made more solid and more interesting.

Growth is important. I’ve learned that, in writing, revising is even more important.




2 responses

  1. I’m nearing the end of my first draft but i’m not looking forward to revisions at all

    May 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm

  2. You’ll need a break after you finish the draft. Get some honest feedback (be careful who you show it to). Even the worst or most harsh criticism has something you can take away and use. You learn a lot more from mistakes than from what you got right in the story. Also, let go and don’t be afraid to get into a “relishing mood” as you take your own critical look at your work and begin to slash and burn. It’s healthy.

    May 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm

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