Today I want to introduce the subject of poetry revision. I am wondering if you revise your poetry after your initial write and, if so, when and how. When you write for a prompt, do you write your poem once and then publish it without further thought? Or do you write it, then revise it, then publish it?
If you revise, do you have any particular process that you use for revising? What kinds of things do you find yourself changing in your own poems?
I will tell you a bit about my own process:
1. I often write a poem through once. Then I look at it. If I find I have used some boring words, I search for synonyms.
2. I will get rid of as many small words (and, a, the, but, then, etc.) as I can.
3. I will try out the poem all in present tense, if it is not already, as I have decided I like present tense more than past — usually.
4. I will look for words I have duplicated within a poem & see if I can find substitutions for twice-used or thrice-used words. (I often use Thesaurus.com.)
5. Often I will look at the beginning of my poem & see if it is needed. Sometimes when I first write a poem, my beginning can be extraneous. Sometimes I totally eliminate it as unnecessary verbiage.
6. If I am in doubt about the necessity of a word, I will many times eliminate it. I am a believer in ‘less is more’ when it comes to my own poetry.
7. Often before I publish I let the poem rest for a time & come back to it. When I come back to my poem, I read it with fresh eyes. Sometimes I cannot believe that I thought what I had written was ‘good’ and do a lot of revision then.
Okay, so I have told you what I do with revisions. Let’s discuss. Do you do use any of the same techniques I do? Do you use others?
Let’s talk! I am hoping to learn some things. Smiles. Use the comment section to share.