Writerly Life


Published authors, names students will recognize like Louis Sachar and Eloise Greenfield, have said they revise their drafts five, six or even 15, 16 times! Author Michale Crichton (Jurassic Park) once said, “Books aren’t written, They’re rewritten. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.” So, working like professional authors, we devote much of a unit of study to revision. When we talk about revision in a writer’s workshop, we are really talking about how a writer can “re-see” his piece of writing. During the revision phase of the writing process writers would be thinking about what they want their piece of writing to say. They would be considering how they might move, add and delete sentences to get at the heart of their writing. This is the messy part of the writing process where students might actually cut their writing apart to create space for additional lines or tape paper over a part of their writing that doesn’t work for them anymore. Writers will actually spend time on revision over days, thinking about how to get their piece of writing to say exactly what they intended for it to say.

In the picture below you can see how one writer deleted many pages of her memoir when revising. This picture can help demonstrate to students just how much a revised draft might change.


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