While working on Mr. Terupt’s first tip, I was prompted to think about my revision process. Below is a peek at what revising looks like for me and a few of my strategies. Who knows? Maybe you will find a new mini-lesson or two here.
My Revision Process
- Reread what I’ve written. Make changes.
- Reread it again. Make more changes.
- Reread it again! Make more changes!
Steps 1-3 happen over and over and over. But what do I focus on while I read, and what prompts me to make changes?
A Few Revising Strategies
- Sometimes I read my writing aloud to myself. Hearing it can help me with word choice, punctuation, dialogue, and more.
- I reread with a specific focus or goal in mind. For example, I might reread to eliminate where I’ve been redundant. With a cast of characters such as the one I feature in my Mr. Terupt novels, I have to work hard to make sure two different voices aren’t using the same phrases or repeating things or describing something in the same way. I need the voices to be distinct.
- I might highlight and/or color code specific areas. While working on my Mr. Terupt novels I made the critical details for each character a different color. I was able to read just the purple parts from beginning to end to make sure that I had developed that part of the manuscript, that I wasn’t repeating, and that there weren’t gaps. This was so helpful!
- I use numbers to track where I want to insert changes and add sentences, with a list corresponding to those numbers on a separate sheet of paper or in the margins of my draft.
- I jot notes in the margins to remind myself of what I want to think about when I revisit that page later.
- I jot questions in the margins to help me focus as I move forward in the manuscript.
- After all this, it is time to share so that I get feedback and hear questions, and this will help me do it all over again.
Check out the image below to see what my work with Jeffrey looked like in Because of Mr. Terupt. (I made Jeffrey green.)
Be sure to visit rhteacherslibrarians.com to find Mr. Terupt’s Teaching Tip #1, and check back here on the first Monday in August to discover what’s next.
Happy Reading (and revising)!