Many students have stereotypes of what revision is or isn’t. Most students see revision as punitive. Some young writers see revision as what they have to do when the teacher thinks their writing isn’t finished. And many beginner writers believe that revising and editing are the same thing.
Revision involves making substantive changes to the meaning, content, structure, or style of a piece of writing rather than the more surface changes that editing demands. Revision means to have a vision of what we want our writing to be like. Real revision is inner work: clarifying what we really think and believe about an idea; getting at the heart of a story; distilling our sentences and words to best express how we feel and what we think. Revision is how writers write.
Writing is revision.
(from The Revision Toolbox: Teaching Techniques That Work (second edition, Heinemann, 2014)
(Draft of my poem “Stars” which was published in Sky Magic edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins)
(Some writers like Henry David Thoreau delete entire sections from their writing.)
(Cover Image of The Revision Toolbox: Tales and Lessons to Find Your Way)