Archive for January, 2017

Guest posts on this site

Requests

From time to time I get requests from readers to write guest posts for this site (or my other sites Trevor’s Birding and Trevor’s Travels).

All my own writing

I guess I should be flattered that someone else would like to write articles here for me. It is somewhat encouraging that other writers value this site so much that they wish to write for me. The truth is – I write all of my own material. I have always written all of my own material on my various sites, except for our church site which is mostly my writing but occasionally the writing of others.

Over a thousand articles

This writing site has been in existence now for almost eleven years – I will celebrate its 11th birthday in early March. During that time I have written over a thousand articles. These have included examples of my poetry, some of my short stories, reviews of books I have read recently, and articles about the craft of writing. Included in the latter is a whole series on how I went about writing my novel and thesis paper for my Master of Arts Creative Writing degree a few year ago.

How to search my site

All of these articles, stories, reviews and poems can be accessed via the search facility at the top of each page, or via the archives, also near the top. Or you can use the cloud on the sidebar to look for specific topics.

Future policy changes

Things may change here on this and on my other sites. I may get to the point where I am so busy working on new projects – such as writing, publishing and promoting my novels – that I won’t have much time to write articles here. If this happens, I will announce this change of policy here, as well as in my regular newsletter.

Get my newsletter

You can easily subscribe to my regular newsletter by clicking on the title of any post, then going to the bottom of the page to sign up. I plan to publish these newsletters once a month this year. They will have information not included on this site, as well as details of upcoming publications. I would be delighted if you joined my growing number of regular readers.

Trevor

PS The photo below has nothing to do with writing. I took it on a recent holiday and think that it is a lovely photo of a beautiful Australian native plant.

Photo: Trevor Hampel

Photo: Trevor Hampel

The importance of revising your writing

A love of writing

One of the reasons I am a writer is that I really enjoy the process of writing. I love the creative process that occurs when an idea pops into my head. It does not matter if it is a poem, a short story, a novel, a blog post, a non-fiction article or even an email to a family member, the same joy of creating is there. This joyful feeling is what keeps me going. It has enabled me to write almost three and a half million words in the last twenty-four years. It has kept me pressing on while spending over twenty thousand hours at my computer keyboard.

The unexpected creative process

One of the exciting things I find about writing, especially when writing fiction, is that I discover unexpected outcomes via the creative process. I might have a general idea of where the story is heading, I may¬†even have a clear plan of the plot, when suddenly a character does or says something unexpected, out of character or just plain startling. The plot can take some bizarre and unplanned twists when this happens. I even find that my thoughts can be railroaded into a side-track when writing blog posts or other forms of non-fiction. It’s all very exciting.

A Problem

As fascinating as this is, such a sudden turn of events, or change of direction, or unplanned content to one’s writing can have a serious repercussion. The writer can get seriously off-track. A short story about a woman’s struggle with depression (yes, I have had one such story published) could take off in the direction of telling all the woes of her childhood. This is back-story; it is probably not necessary in a 2000 word story. In a 100,000 word novel – perhaps.

The importance of revision

I have discovered over many years of writing that revision is crucial to the whole process of the art, as is rewriting, editing and proofreading. I should write articles on all of these aspects of writing – and I probably have over the years. (You can find them by using those terms in the “search” box at the top of the page.)

In this article, want to focus just on “revision”.

What is Revision?

The process of revision can include the following:

  • Reading back over the piece of writing, checking for errors of fact, especially in non-fiction. It can also be crucial in fiction, too; you can’t have a character using a mobile phone if the story is set in the 1960s – unless it is a time travel story, but then, the phone wouldn’t work.
  • Correcting the wrong use of words, or constant repetition of words and phrases.
  • Recasting sentences which demonstrate¬†poor grammar.
  • Checking for spelling mistakes and typos (though this is usually regarded as editing or proofreading, two other important processes of writing).
  • Deleting a sentence, a paragraph or even as much as a whole chapter which is unnecessary to the whole work. In one novel I wrote, I had to delete large chunks because it read like a travelogue and didn’t advance the plot.
  • Rearranging the order of sentences, paragraphs or chapters to create a more logical flow.

How other writers revise their work

I have included only a few ways in which one can revise your writing. There are many different ways of doing this important process. Each writer is different, and individual writers can vary their own approach, depending on what they are writing.

I recently came across an article 12 Contemporary writers on how they revise. Each writer has a different approach to the same process. At the end of each writer’s segment, there is a link to further articles on that writer, including blog posts, podcasts, interviews and more. I hope that you find it useful.

Further reading: