Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Final Step: Revision

By Sophie Nadel, Writer’s Tips Editor

 

There comes a time in every young writer’s life in which his or her stories must be reviewed and revised. Now, the revision process is not something to be afraid of no matter how huge and intimidating it might seem. In fact, revising should be perceived as an opportunity to make your best better! After you have that first draft of your story, you can really start improving the smaller details of your writing. These more subtle aspects of your writing can range from enhancing the description of the setting to modifying a specific word choice, but perfecting them can be the difference between a good story and an amazing one.

Reread and Rewrite

You may have written your first draft hastily. This is perfectly normal. As you reread, you might notice certain places where you could have added more detail, painted a clearer picture. Revising is your opportunity to add in those details that you missed the first time! Another important facet to look at when you are revising is your characters. While examining dialogue, think about each character’s personality and ensure that what he or she is saying reflects it.

Economize Words

At the same time you work on improving your descriptions, cut out words and sentences you don’t need. Most of the time, less is more. Ask yourself, “Is this relevant to the plot?” and “Does this information enhance my descriptions or characters?” If you answer no to either of these questions, hit the backspace. I know this sounds a little contradictory, but hopefully, the descriptions you’re adding are relevant to the plot. Distinguish the necessary from the superfluous. Wordiness might seem like a good idea if you’re trying to fill a set number of pages, but extra words won’t add anything to your writing. Remember: quality over quantity.

Share with Others

After you have done all you can do on your own, it’s time to start workshopping. Ask a friend, teacher, or parent to review your work for you. Someone else will be able to provide a fresh, new perspective on your piece. That person may be able to identify mistakes you missed and provide suggestions that you haven’t even thought of! Through peer reviewing, you can look at your work through a new lens. With the input of a reader, you will learn what works and what doesn’t work, what you need to edit and what you did really well on.

The revision process might seem intimidating, but you can really have fun with it. Read your work like a literary critic would, and don’t be afraid to rewrite some parts. Good luck!

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