Friday, July 17, 2009

How to Create Successful Blogposts: Revision

On Wednesday we discussed the planning stage of creating blog posts, and yesterday we covered the drafting stage. Let's move on to an important, but often overlooked, stage of writing: revision

When I revise, I first check the sentence-by-sentence, paragraph-by-paragraph flow of the post. I make sure I've made all the appropriate transitions to keep my reader engaged. For example, in the "Jorie Spelling" post, I wrote a lone paragraph about Jorie's nasty antics: particularly the smurf bites. I was all over the place with that paragraph, unsure where and how to connect it. I eventually decided to connect Mean Girls with Jorie's mean girl behavior before bringing the text back to the Donna Martin thread. In fact, this paragraph was written after the next two, but as I thought through my transitions and the logical progression of how I revise, I kept moving it up until it placed where it is.

After I check the post's organization, I re-read it several times, focusing on word choice. In fact, I'll continue to re-read it after its published just to be sure all the wording is the way I want it. The first thing I look at are how active my verbs are. For example, I originally wrote "there wasMean Girls, which gave me . . . " but changed it to "Mean Girls gave me." Subtle change, but those action verbs mean the difference between telling a story to the reader and showing the reader the story.

Once my verbs check out, I move on to adjectives. I try to come up with unique wordcombinations that leave my readers peeing in their pants with delight--see what I mean. Part of the reason I re-read and revise so much is I find myself so darn amusing. Seriously, I love to crack myself up and so as I write, I look for ways in which I can do just that. Adjectives bring writing to life and set authors apart from others. Why say I had a C-section when I can say Mr.Busypants was surgically removed from my uterus?

Which would you laugh at? Which would you remember?

Finally, I make it a rule to re-read the entire paragraph (and sometimes the one before it) if even one revision is made in it--every time. This may seem tedious and time consuming, but the revision process brings on those syntactical errors that you probably wouldn't make in an initial draft. It's important to read each sentence fully each time you revise to minimize these sloppy errors.

Using these techniques really help me write the best blogs I can write. The time pressure still keeps me from making them all that I want them to be, but I'm usually happy each post that I publish. I love making those unique connections that make my writing my own version of the Donna Martin original. Ah, I'm ending on yet another connection.

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