Keep a record of your revision process. Write about your patterns and your feelings of resistance. Examine why you resist revision or sketch out your plans for the rewrite.
Samuel Johnson is often quoted as saying, "Read over your compositions, and wherever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out." William Faulkner said it more succinctly: "Kill your darlings." This is one of the more painful aspects of revision but in its brutality, one of the most effective. Often, the lines that you are most fond of are the ones you should cut. You may be attached to the line because of its particular cleverness or its lyricism.
Was this article helpful?