on Writing Forward:
“The best writing is rewriting.”
– E.B. White
We use the terms first draft or rough draft when we are initially writing a piece because almost every single project is going to go through multiple drafts. But how is the drafting process tackled? And what are the benefits of multiple revisions?
Some writers love the revision process; others think it’s a drag. Regardless of how you feel about revising your work, one thing is certain: if you want to produce better writing (and become a better writer), then revisions are absolutely essential.
To revise means “to change” or “to alter.” In the world of writing, to revise means “to alter something already written or printed, in order to make corrections, improve, or update: to revise a manuscript.” (dictionary.com)
Revision involves making substantial changes to improve the writing. In fiction, this could mean changing characters’ names, realigning the plot, or resequencing the scenes. In other forms of writing, revision might entail major structural changes (moving chapters around) or a content overhaul (adding, removing, or changing information). Sometimes, revision involves rewriting a project entirely.