Revising Quotes

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  • I don't write a quick draft and then revise; instead, I work slowly page by page, revising and polishing.

  • One great aim of revision is to cut out. In the exuberance of composition it is natural to throw in - as one does in speaking - a number of small words that add nothing to meaning but keep up the flow and rhythm of thought. In writing, not only does this surplusage not add to meaning, it subtracts from it. Read and revise, reread and revise, keeping reading and revising until your text seems adequate to your thought.

  • Most philosophies wrap their seekers in a strict belief system. By virtue of what they include, they exclude everything else, especially some vital realizations. Periodically revising our philosophy of life as we live it is, therefore, a critically valuable exercise.

  • John Milton famously claimed, "Fame is the spur" for the poet, and indeed when we consider the six years he spent writing Paradise Lost, and the additional years revising it, from 1664 to 1674, we may allow that spur.

    Writing   Years   Spurs  
    "Walking with Her Muse: An Interview with Shirley Geok-lin Lim". Contemporary Women's Writing, Volume 8, Issue 2, 1 July 2014, Pages 123 - 135, June 22, 2013.
  • I think I regard any history in quotes, because just like science, we're constantly revising science, we're constantly revising history.

  • Writing a first draft is like groping one's way into a dark room, or overhearing a faint conversation, or telling a joke whose punchline you've forgotten. As someone said, one writes mainly to rewrite, for rewriting and revising are how one's mind comes to inhabit the material fully.

    Writing   Dark   Mind  
    Ted Solotaroff (2008). “The Literary Community: Selected Essays : 1967-2007”
  • Hoping to see karate included in the universal physical education taught in our public schools, I set about revising the kata so as to make them as simple as possible. Times change, the world changes, and obviously the martial arts must change too. The karate that high school students practice today is not the same karate that was practiced even as recently as ten years ago [this book was written in 1956], and it is a long way indeed from the karate I learned when I was a child in Okinawa.

    Art   Children   Book  
  • Bryce Zabel and I went down the road of revising the Kennedy historical record together on the NBC seriesDark Skies. This time instead of giving new meaning to the established JFK chronology, hes created a brand new one altogether.Surrounded by Enemiesis an exhilarating ride, full of twists and turns that never were, but surely could have been.

    Nbc   Sky   Giving  
  • When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.

    Hurt   Children   Writing  
  • Rewrite and revise. Do not be afraid to seize what you have and cut it to ribbons ... Good writing means good revising.

    Writing   Learning   Mean  
  • [While designing] I'm mixing two lines of thought really: me as a designer for women and then me as a man. At the start of the design process it's the designer for women that comes to the forefront - sketching and revising the silhouette. Then the man comes into the picture - and I look at the shoe from a very masculine point of view. Then there is a conflict between the two sides of me. Sometimes the man wins, and sometimes the designer wins.

  • I enjoy writing plays most. I haven't written a radio play in a while and I don't write short stories anymore because the process of submitting them depressed me. I really enjoy revising novels, but drafting them can be a pain.

    Pain   Writing   Play  
  • One could go on revising a prose page forever whereas there is a point in a poem when one knows it is done forever.

    Forever   Done   Goes On  
  • One must keep one's character. Earn a character first if you can, and if you can't, then assume one. From the code of morals I have been following and revising and revising for 72 years I remember one detail. All my life I have been honest - comparatively honest. I could never use money I had not made honestly - I could only lend it.

  • It seems the deeper, truer personality of the artist only emerges in the making of decisions... in refusing and accepting, changing and revising.

  • For me, intuition comes from experience. After years of experience, a person will have, if they have been paying attention and revising their thinking and behavior, intuitions about their area of experience.

  • For example, if it's a sad scene, I need to feel that way, at least to a slight degree and for a short while, to get it right. Which is why I sometimes listen to music when I'm revising. Music creates moods for me quicker than any other medium.

    Degrees   Example   Needs  
  • I never see songs as permanent. I'm always in a state of revising everything.

    Song   States   Revising  
    "The Pink Album". Interview with Aly Comingore, November 18, 2014.
  • The thing about the 600 words, I mean some day, you can do a very, very, very hard day's work and not write a word, just revising, or you would scribble a few words.

  • Sometimes I can spend as long revising a manuscript as I spent writing it in the first place.

    Writing   Long   Firsts  
  • I write very raw, ugly, illiterate first drafts very quickly (novels are always in first draft in under a year) and then I spend years and years fine-tuning, revising, editing, etc. What inspires me? Who knows. I am not inspired that much. That’s why I write long form fiction - I am not much of a short story writer. Ideas come seldom, but when a good one comes, I really stick to it and see it out. I’m a problem-solver - I've never thrown out an entire manuscript; I've always forced myself to repair it until it was a lovable thing again.

    Writing   Editing   Years  
    "Beyond Diaspora: Porochista Khakpour". Interview with Roxanne Naseem Rashedi, February 17, 2013.
  • I always rewrite the very beginning of a novel. I rewrite the beginning as I write the ending, so I may spend part of morning writing the ending, the last 100 pages approximately, and then part of the morning revising the beginning. So the style of the novel has a consistency.

    "Off the Page: Joyce Carol Oates". The WashingtonPost Interview, October 24, 2003.
  • Nothing quite has reality for me till I write it all down--revising and embellishing as I go. I'm always waiting for things to be over so I can get home and commit them to paper.

    Home   Writing   Reality  
  • If the book is finished—published and on the shelf—I do not think of revising it. But if I'm not finished psychologically with characters, they will recur, either as themselves or as new, slightly altered manifestations, and their same issues will reappear. It's a matter of the subject and emotional investment and my own obsessive thinking about various issues It's an unconscious process. To say that a single story is not done isn't quite true. A story can be finished and judged successful or not by somebody else, but if the issue is not done for me, I can count on its reappearance.

  • Men have jobs, while women have Roles: Mother, Wife, Goddess, Temptress, etc. That's probably why it's so hard for women to rewrite the rules. You're not just changing a job description, but an ancient myth. You're revising the Bible, Poetry, Legend and Psychoanalytic Scripture.

    Mother   Jobs   Men  
  • The writer must have a good imagination to begin with, but the imagination has to be muscular, which means it must be exercised in a disciplined way, day in and day out, by writing, failing, succeeding and revising.

    "Writing Advice from Stephen King & Jerry Jenkins". Interview with Jessica Strawser, July 21, 2009.
  • The job of a legislator is much more fixing existing law, revising it, improving it, than it is passing something that doesn't exist.

    Jobs   Law   Fixing  
  • Most writers want to share their essay or book much too quickly. Those who accept the pain of hard work and revising are those who get published.

    Pain   Book   Hard Work  
  • Never think of revising as fixing something that is wrong. That starts you off in a negative frame of mind. Rather think of it as an opportunity to improve something you already love.

    Marion Dane Bauer (1996). “Our Stories: A Fiction Workshop for Young Authors”, p.165, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • I revise like crazy. I start revising before the pen hits the paper.

    Crazy   Paper   Pens  
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