Nonwriters believe revision is something you do in an afternoon, manuscript and red pen in hand. They picture this as a cosmetic process, choosing one word over another, or transplanting a paragraph to a different page. They think once that first draft is written, the book is practically finished.
Writers know better. They know that a jumbled draft can be even more terrifying than a blank page. They know that there is a lot more to revision than a few red marks on the manuscript. And they know that the first draft is simply the raw material that they must shape, carve, and polish into a masterful story.
Revision is work. It’s ...