Revision Includes Generation

Rather than leading readers down the narrow path of a first draft, you can continue investigating the wilderness, growing more familiar with your material, before you invite anyone along. Early on it’s important to ask, “What more do I have to say about this subject?” Our initial seeing comes from just one of many angles. What else is worth visiting in these woods? Sometimes adding new material expands the breadth of our story; more often it fills empty spaces within the bounds of the story. Regardless of how long-winded a first draft may be, we can always increase our awareness of the story’s significance—its inner life. Generating more material helps.


from “Living Revision: A Writer’s Craft as Spiritual Practice” by @Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew @Skinner House