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Revision Workshop Outline

"Writing and rewriting are a constant search for what one is saying."     - John Updike

I. Keys to simplifying revision

    A. Separate revision and editing
        Revision - Seeing it again (content).  Are the ideas clear?
        Editing - Looking at mechanics.  Does it look right?

    B. An effective conference makes revision natural and logical.
II. Types of Revision.
    A. Lateral Revision - Experimenting with the topic
        1. Write a focused freewrite on your piece of writing
            a) See the self-conference questions
        2. Write a dialogue or a scene (or a "moment").
        3. Change the form or the audience.
            a.) Generating different forms (or see forms list)
            b.) Generating different audiences
        4. Share one piece with your writing group.

    B. Linear Revision - Improving the draft
    1. Revise for one or two things at a time.
    2. Move from the biggest problems to the smallest
        a.) Beginning/Middle/End
• Change the beginning and/or the ending to make it more dramatic, vivid or powerful.
        b.) Paragraphs.
• Use paragraphs for both you and the reader to organize the essay
    • Make sure your strongest sentences and most important ideas are at the beginning or end of a paragraph
        c.) Sentences.
                • Look at your sentences for run-ons and fragments
                • Vary your sentences type for rhythm and effect
        d.) Use stronger verbs and/or adjectives.
                • Avoid repetitions and "to be" verbs
Self Conference Questions

What do you like best?  Best phrase?  Best image?  Best word?  Best idea?
What surprised you?    
Where is the voice the strongest?  
Underline your favorite line.  
Where is the problem area?
What could you do about it?
Do you need more information?  
What parts need more detail?  
What parts/words/etc could be eliminated?
What would you do if you had more time?  
Summarize what the piece is about in one sentence.  
Say what the piece is about thematically in a few words.
Where do you want help from your writing group?

Process Questions

Reflect on the process you went through as you wrote.
How did the piece of writing evolve?  
Where or how did you get your idea?  
What activity worked best?  
What surprised you?
Did the self-conference help?  
How did knowing you would have to share affect you?
How did the sharing work?
Did the feedback help?  
Did the changes improve the writing?  
What is your favorite part of the piece?  
What was the hardest part?  
What would you do if you had more time?
Did you learn anything about yourself as a writer?
What will you do next?