Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Quick Revising

If you're lucky to be loaded with projects, then you possibly won't have the time to spend on extended revisions. Yet, revisions are the very essence of good writing.

Quick revisions are a 'clean and polish' operation and work well in the case of creating say a final draft or an 'in-house' piece which you need for your own use. There is also another situation where you can use quick revision- it's 9pm and your deadline is for the next morning. You've made a mistake understanding the nature of the project you have to deliver and you've just realized the mistake. You have to create something new and something good. In such a situation, you have to contend with both anxiety as well as a tight deadline. Quick revising can get you to your final goal.

1. Think of your final audience. Who is going to be reading the piece. Is it for the client (a business plan?), a web-audience, a direct marketing brochure which will be mailed?

2. Read through what you have and select the parts which can be used.

3. Highlight your single main point and arrange whatever you can use around it. Jot down any thoughts or ideas which spring to your mind. If you need to do further research, you'll have a few starting points from which to begin.

4. Now begin your draft. Fill in the blanks as you go along. Leave spaces for those sentence you've yet to create.

5. If you are stuck for a main point, a freewriting exercise ( might just help. True, you won't feel like wasting time freewriting, but setting 10 minutes aside may just give you the breakthrough you need.

6. Once you have your draft, run through it and add an introductory/concluding paragraphs. This is also a good time to fill in those empty spaces.

7. Print it out, read through it and make any changes needed.

8. Finally, get rid of grammatical errors.

Quick revisions usually 'cut' a piece so that the final product is compact, yet well organized. Leave the longer, verbose pieces for when you have plenty of time to revise and reword.


Liana said...

Excellent advice! I've enjoyed reading it!

Usha Krishnan Sliva said...

Efharisto poli Liana!
Thank you and glad you enjoyed it!