Be Brilliant


*Enter your reaction this the word here*

I must say for me, revision is much easier than facing the blank page during the draft phase. However, it can be just as frustrating. Especially when you know what you want to convey but the words don’t want to cooperate with you.

Know that feeling?

*Nod your head*

I think sometimes when we read “finished” work — work that seems so “effortless” that we can forget the hours and energy it takes to make a novel’s world breathe life. When the words disappear into your mind and create emotions and images. It’s magic because you don’t even see the words, you see the novel’s world instead. Alive and fascinating.

News flash: This doesn’t happen the first time out the gate, honey. :)

Revision is where you create the magic.

This is why during my writing retreat, I was so happy to gather ideas and suggestions to make my novel stronger — especially the ending. I’m still torn about what to do but I’m getting closer to my final decision.

One of the craft books I took with me was The Plot Whisperer by Martha Alderson. This fabulous book is dog-eared with several underlined passages. I just love this book. And I’m very excited that The Plot Whisperer Workbook is coming out in August.

Last night, I was reading some of my Plot Whisperer notes and came across this gem from the author:

“Appreciate that the right words do not always come out the first time. You cannot always convey what you imagine for your story the first, second, third, or even fourth try. Writing is a process. Get the words down. Later you can go back and be brilliant.”

So for those of you who are in the revision phase like me, rejoice! Your magic is happening right now. You are in the process of being brilliant. Keep revising! :)


  1. says

    That’s a wonderful quote! And it’s so true, too. That’s the best thing about writing: we aren’t expected to be perfect the first time and can revise it as often as needed!

    I’ve heard good things about that book. I’ll have to check it out when the workbook is released.

    • says

      Laura, you should get your hands on this book! I love it. :) I can’t wait for the workbook to come out. It’s great for people who don’t necessarily like to outline or help them plot our their novels.

  2. says

    love it! i went to the scbwi nj conference over the weekend, and kate dicamillo did the keynote. she said that you are never going to write a novel better than the one in your head, that it is never going to come out the same way – and i really appreciated that!

    • says

      Ah, the scene in my head is always so elusive! I can’t never get it the same way on paper.

      I’ve some good things about this conference. I loved what you had to say about agent Susan Hawk and her questions about the heart of a story.

  3. says

    Such great advice. The revision stage is my favorite part of the writing process, but it’s still frustrating and maddening at times.

    I’ve heard wonderful things about Martha Alderson and her Plot Whisperer site. I’m adding her book to by TBR pile. Thanks!

  4. says

    I need to get my hands on that book! I loved the Plot Whisperer videos.

    This is all so true – it takes hard work and many revisions to write a publishable book. Perseverance will get us to that point! Good luck, Karen. :)

    • says

      You really should. You were actually the one that got me on to the Plot Whisperer when you posted on Twitter about her YouTube series. I actually think the author is about to start up a new series on her channel.

  5. says

    Revision is indeed where the magic happens, well said! And that’s part of why I love it so much. Getting a phrase or description just right, fleshing out a character fully, and discovery new depths to plot twists make my day. Love it!

    • says

      My favorite part of revision is getting the characterization deeper. I learn about my characters the most during this phase. They get fleshed out and become real to me.

  6. says

    I’m in the middle of revising too! One of the hardest things is going from a polished draft to the first draft and having to remind myself that they all start that way! As in not very good! :) Good luck with them!

  7. says

    Ugh, if anyone took a peek at my first drafts they would probably commit me. Ha, ha. It’s just that bad. With each revision phase, it’s gets better and better. Love seeing the progress too.

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