You gotta revise, folks. Doesn’t matter if you were in the zone, killing it. I’m glad you had fun. Now clean it up and make it better.
The enemies of revision are:
+ low standards: “it’s good enough”
+ impatience: wanting to finish, the reward of being done, the glory of the finish line
+ inexperience: not understanding just how much a story can be improved
+ arrogant delusions: believing in the greatness of one’s first drafts
+ lack of imagination: begrudging the task, the file saving, the file naming, the copy editing (see revision also as an opportunity to add magic)
+ attachment: the inability to cut, edit, rewrite; mistaking the genesis for genius
Everyone has Their Prose Shortcomings that Need Revision
….says the subhead. So be Buddhist about it and show compassion for your accetable flaws that make you the writer you are becoming. In the meantime—Oh, hey, show’s starting.
“And the winning shortcomings are…” reads the announcer, leaning into the mic.
+ redundancies: a tendency to say the same thing twice, to repeat one’s self, perhaps to tell and then also show
+ wordiness: “Jane was the kind of woman who wouldn’t back away from something out of fear” vs. “Jane was brave.”
+ lack of detail—too broad, too sketchy (rare)
+ too much detail: particulars and particulars, no context (aka “all trees, no forest”)
+ a tendency to dramatize or summarize too much, can be called “a pacing issue”
+ over-use of dialogue: exchanges not to the point
+ mismanagement of nouns and pronouns (Robert, Marcia, he, she)
+ bad grammar, run-ons, disorganization
+ MOST common: failure to develop plot conflict quickly
See the related Revision prompt at Prompt City