Thursday, 24 February 2022

Writing Workshop: Reviewing

     I want to have a little chat this month about reviewing. Reviewing is a crucial part of the writing process. It’s when we routinely sit down and reread what we have already written and should become a part of your daily writing routine. 

Why is it so important? There are two main reasons.

The first is that it helps refresh our memory as to where a story is going. If, before we start our writing for the day, we read through the scene that we wrote the day previous, it gives us a clarity as to what were thinking and helps us remember where the plot was headed and how we were developing the characters. This stops us from throwing in weird random plot changes or character quirks that readers often find off-putting. There is nothing more frustrating when reading a story where a character’s personality does a sudden u-turn or the plot leaps about all over the place. Reviewing can help nip this in the bud right at the beginning of the creative process.

The second is that reviewing plays a role in a constant editing process and therefore makes any large edit later on so much less of a burden. If we review something we wrote 24 hours previous with fresh eyes, we will pick up weird little typos, phrases that we might be overusing, inconsistencies in spellings of names — all that sort of thing. These are the sorts of mistakes which really slow down that large edit when we’ve finished the story at the end of the first draft. If we clear a lot of these annoyances out of the way as we go along, then that large edit becomes far more enjoyable as we are concerned more with polishing the story than locating masses of hidden errors.

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