Discovering my revisionary self

I’m in day two of tackling the suggested revisions on my short My Wildest Dreams. Comments in the side margins and corrections in dimmed type throughout the doc staring me in the face. I agree with most of what is noted and I have gone through three chapters.

This brings up an important point. How perfect does your MS have to be before it is ready to be presented to an agent? These days; it has to be crafted with no obstacles getting in the way of the story and its readibility.

So I forge on. I’m hoping this exercise in revising my work with a professional’s eye will help my future writing and revising. It was a reasonable price to pay if I’m able to take the corrections to heart and learn from my mistakes. It puts the common errors in perspective, and highlights bad habits that have accumulated over the years. By the third chapter I’m beginning to get the gist of the marked up text and working through the doc at a better pace. I’m mindful that this was an 8000 word short, if it’s no where near that when I’m done then I will adjust.

I mentioned in an earlier blog that I signed on to a website that allows uploads of stories to read and critique. I have critiqued five so far and I have received one critique in response. It was a very nice short remark, the reader enjoyed the story and had two suggestions for corrections. I was able to rework those areas and upload the edit. My short story of 8000 words was posted with a max word count of 5000 words, so a good portion will be read and reviewed. I accepted reading assignments randomly and read stories I wouldn’t have read otherwise. I was pleasantly surprised and saw some of the common mistakes that my professional edit noted. However, I didn’t let the speed bumps stop me and focused on the stories. In my review I did mention the need for grammar check, but tried to focus mainly on the content. After all I am not an expert on grammar. Interestingly, it clearly shows the two aspects of writing a good story, the first draft phase and the necessary edit that follows.

Other flaws in my writing are the use of ‘a’ and ‘the,’ passive voice and comma splices. I have never taken a fiction writing class or workshop. I’m not sure if that disqualifies me from the novice class of writers. I didn’t set out to write a best seller, I simply had a story to tell. To my surprise; I wanted to share it with others, thus my dilemma.

Whatever I need to do to get there I will document it in my blog so others can learn from my mistakes.

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