Approach With Caution: Three Ways of Looking at Revision and One Invitation to Try

Wayward Writers

You did it. You wrote a story.


Maybe your process is like mine: it begins with what visionary director Peter Brook called The Formless Hunch: a memory, an interaction, a sound, an image, a question, maybe even just a color. The thing you follow like a glimpse of the Loch Ness monster (happy birthday, Nessie) when everything else in your mind says, “that’s crazy” but then, something surfaces –


At some point, you were rolling a boulder up a hill. At some point, sentences were being airlifted from the sky. At some point, the ending slides in like an I Tetrimino, and the whole page lights up and all the blocks disappear.


And now there is a finished story, and a kind of fear sets in: the TERROR of revision. For me, it’s this fear that my story is a deck of cards or butterfly wings, and that any kind of reaching…

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