Sunday, March 1, 2009

Refined Like Silver

The first draft is the easiest part of the writing process. You have something to say, you set your fingers on the keyboard, and you let them fly. However, unless you are the very rare perfectionist, or if your words come directly from God Himself, that first draft is bound to be a big, sloppy mess. A once-over reveals misplaced thoughts, missing pieces, and grammar errors. Time to edit.

Rewrites and revisions require gruelling work. It's like digging tunnels with a toothpick! You must scour your writing sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph. Pick it apart. Try to separate yourself from your story. Read it as if you've never seen it before. Read it aloud and listen for confusing areas. Note sentences that are too wordy or that trip your tongue. Be aware of misplaced modifiers.

The revision process may be hard work, but it is vital to producing quality work. A writer I know is personally acquainted with inspirational author and speaker Thelma Wells and received an email announcement for Mrs. Wells' current seminar tour. One statement read, "Do you want to win those battles against your husband and your children?" Whoa! What editor missed that? Is this a power-mom-family-bashing-smackdown? My friend alerted Mrs. Wells to the misleading phrase, and a rewrite was done immediately!

Another friend despises rewrites. She loathes them so much she even refuses to say the word. She prefers to call the process "refining". That is a very appropriate term. To be most effective, writing needs to be "like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times" (Psalm 12:6). Leave the dross behind and present a polished masterpiece.


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I'm so glad you stopped by!

This sums it up ;)

This sums it up ;)