Revising One Page at a Time by Deborah Lytton

My favorite thing to do when I am in the middle of a work-in-progress is to begin each writing session by reviewing the pages I have already written. It is the best way for me to quickly connect with the moment I last left off and continue right on. However, it is also an opportunity to revise those same pages. And revise and revise. Sometimes this can turn my whole writing session into a rewriting session. When this happens, my page count does not increase because I have not actually moved forward at all. In truth, the more time I spend revising those first pages, the better the manuscript becomes. It was in spending hours and hours (and months and months) on the first thirty pages of my YA SILENCE, that I found the voices of the characters and the dual POV structure that gave the manuscript its heart. 
Even though the benefits of this style of working can be enormous, there are also downsides. The most obvious one is that spending time revising first pages can keep me from meeting my personal deadlines. So I have recently broken myself of this habit by only allowing myself to read the scene just prior to the place I left off. This way, my revising is limited and I can move forward with the first draft, knowing that there will be plenty of time for me to enjoy revising (and more revising) later. So my tip is to ask yourself what habits are keeping you from meeting your personal page goals. See if you can change them even a little bit. Writing one page every day will lead you closer to your goal. Try to make that one page happen today!


  1. I've been writing just this way lately. Revising as I go. It really works.


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