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  • Writer's picturePattie Harte-Naus

Writer's Workshop III

Revising & Editing

Knowing when to begin the revision and editing process involves a strategic approach.


Revising helps to refine ideas, structure and coherence for your reader:

  1. Completion of draft/manuscript is important to assess...But first, let the ideas and writing flow.

  2. Take a break from your work, maybe a day or two, or even a week. Put some distance between you and your piece which provides a fresh perspective, making it easier to identify areas for improvement during the revision stage. You are not deserting your work, but rather still in the process of writing as this IS an important step in the revision process.

  3. Seek feedback from others, whether it’s peers at workshops or editors, remembering that those close to you will always give you thumbs up. But having external perspectives can highlight areas that may need attention.

  4. Clarity of Purpose for your intended audience should always be on your mind when writing. When your writing lacks clarity or your message isn’t effectively conveyed, then it’s a signal that revisions are needed to enhance coherence.

  5. Focus solely on content/structure and flow. Don’t be afraid of this step. It may be a hard pill to swallow, as they say, but very, very necessary! Be brave and bold and include this step with revisions.


Different types of Editing for grammar and style should come after major revisions to avoid constant back and forth.

  • Developmental Editing:  Focuses on the structure and content of the manuscript, addressing issues like plot, character development, and overall coherence.

  • Copy Editing:  Concentrates on grammar, punctuation, spelling, and style to ensure clarity and consistency.

  • Line Editing: Goes beyond basic copy editing to enhance the flow, language and creative elements of the writing.

  • Proofreading: The final stage... checking for typos, formatting errors and any lingering minor issues.

Authors may engage in multiple types of editing, often in sequential stages, to ensure a polished and refined final product. Hiring an editor is always a good idea as they will see things right away that we don’t with our piece.


Failure to revise or edit before publishing can lead to various issues:

  • Poor quality:  The work may lack clarity, coherence and overall polish, diminishing its quality and potentially not engaging your readers.

  • Errors and Mistakes: Grammatical errors, typos and inconsistencies may persist, affecting the professionalism and credibility of the writing.

  • Lack of engagement: Readers may struggle to connect with a poorly refined piece, impacting the authors ability to convey their message effectively.

  • Miscommunication: Unrevised content may fail to convey the intended message clearly, leading to misunderstanding or misinterpretations, not only to the audience, but possibly....your illustrator may misinterpret your work and meaning differently than your original intent!                   

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