Monday, January 18, 2010

Re-Vision



I grew up on the beaches of Florida--first the Atlantic and then the Gulf of Mexico. My mother was a passionate beachcomber. She'd walk for hours looking for shells, odd pieces of driftwood, sea glass. So, of course, I learned to do the same. I'm pretty sure becoming a beachcomber at such a young age and doing it for 18 years is the reason why I've always looked down as I walk. Lately, my husband and I have developed (no pun intended) a passion for photography. I just have one of those little point and shoot digital cameras--nothing fancy but I can easily carry it with me when I'm out hiking/skiing/snowshoeing with the dogs. But the thing about taking pictures is you need to lift your head and look around! And it teaches you to not only look up and out, but to see things in an entirely new way.

So all this got me to thinking about the revision process. Revision means to literally visit something again. And when we do, don't we often see it in a whole new way, especially if we've been away from it for a while? For me, when I write that first messy draft, it's like just snapping a photo of one whole idea. Like a tree, for instance. But during the revision process, I look at the smaller particulars of character and plot development, tone, voice and theme. Kind of like knot holes, tiny pinecones, a leaf. It's during the revision--the revisiting, the "re-seeing"-that we turn a snapshot into a photograph.

But that's just me.

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