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Revise Your Draft and Make It Shine by @womenwewrite is a Best Books of 2020 pick #writing #giveaway

Title: Revise Your Draft and Make It Shine

Author: Joan Bouza Koster

Genre: Writing Craft – Non-Fiction

Book Blurb:

You’ve finished your rough draft—great! Here’s how to quickly and easily revise it to show off your true writing skills.

From the award-winning author and educator who brought you the Fast Drafting method comes an easy, effective way to approach the often daunting task of revising your work. It doesn’t have to be difficult or frustrating! Revise Your Draft: And Make Your Writing Shine.


You’ve done it!

You’ve reached the end of your draft blog post, essay, article, textbook, or novel. Wouldn’t it be nice if that was all you had to do? But unless you are superhuman your initial draft will not be perfect.

So, what comes next?


Why Revise?

No piece of writing is ever perfect the first time around. Ernest Hemingway famously revised his novel Farewell to Arms over fifty times. He didn’t do this because he was a bad writer. He did it because he was an excellent one.

Revision is the process of rereading, rethinking, and rewriting what you have written before allowing others to read it publicly.

It involves making structural changes—sometimes large, sometimes small, and sometimes both. It also involves applying finishing touches to sections, chapters, scenes, paragraphs, sentences and words in order to turn your writing from humdrum to something special.

In many ways revising a piece of writing is like remodeling a house. You start by analyzing the strength of the framework. Next you shore up the walls and interior supports, perhaps installing new windows and doors, or alternatively, merely changing the trim. To complete the job, you add the decorative interior finishes and personal decor that will make the home beautiful and unique.

But as we all know, either from actual experience or watching home fixup shows on TV, in real life, remodeling can be a messy, frustrating process. Revising your manuscript doesn’t have to be that way.

In Revise Your Draft and Make Your Writing Shine, you will find an orderly approach to the revision process no matter what you write. While many writing guides cover specific types of writing, this guide is different. Very few writers write only one thing. Fiction writers write blog posts and articles about their work. Students may have to write a persuasive essay, a book review, and a short story in one semester. An academic researcher may write an article for a peer-reviewed journal and another for a popular magazine.

Viewing revision as a remodeling project that you carry out in the same way for each piece of writing using the same toolbox of techniques and tricks, will make your revision process go more quickly and smoothly.

For those places where nonfiction and fiction differ, I provide resources relevant to each type of writing in the form of lists throughout this guide, in supplements at the end, and in links to online resources and books.

So, let’s dig into the revision process together. Before you know it, the “renovation” of your rough draft will be complete, and you will be ready to reveal your work to the public eye.

The Revision Process

What would you do if you were remodeling a house? If you are like me, you wouldn’t just dive in and work at random. First, you might step back from the building and gain a fresh perspective by looking at successful remodels of similar dwellings. Second, you would assess the improvement needs of your particular house and make a plan of action that covers the work to be done. Third, you would gather the tools required to complete your reconstruction. Fourth, you would start with the most major repairs and work down to the smallest.

If you want to save yourself a lot of time and stress, the revision process can work the same way.

Creativity and Revision

If you are starting to feel weighed down, don’t be. Continuing with the metaphor of renovating a house, revising a piece of writing requires you to be one part house inspector and one part creative engineer. Both roles require a high degree of creativity.

In drafting, a writer strives to enter the state of flow where ideas pour out effortlessly onto the paper. The first book in the Write for Success series, Fast Draft Your Manuscript and Get It Done Now, delves into writing in the creative flow.

The revision process draws on a different kind of creativity. When revising the writer takes inspiration from creative engineers who must come up with solutions to problems within a defined framework. For example, how many columns are needed to hold up a roof made of thick stone slabs and what is the most aesthetic way to arrange them?

A writer in the process of revision strives to recognize problems and then brainstorm creative solutions to solve them. These solutions may be based on tried-and-true ones used by generations of writers or may be brand-new and unique to your particular draft. The important thing is that they work.

In the process, you bring your strongest ideas to the forefront by rearranging sections for emphasis, by cutting excess or irrelevant portions, and by strengthening the language. Believe it or not, this will take just as much creativity as writing the first draft did.

In the following pages of Revise Your Draft and Make It Shine, I cover the tried-and-true revision solutions that writers have used forever. But I also share numerous tips and tricks that I have discovered in my own career as an award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction, academic and popular books. I’ve found that these hacks make the process less onerous and a little less time consuming.

So, let’s get started.

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

Why is your featured book a must-read?

“This revision book is packed with useful strategies and tools to lead you through a robust rewrite, broken down into a series of manageable steps.” AMAZON 5 * Review

Giveaway –

Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 19 books featured in the Best Books of 2020 Bookish Event:

Open Internationally.

Runs December 28 – December 31, 2020.

Winner will be drawn on January 4, 2020.

Author Biography:

When she is not writing in her studio by the sea, Joan Koster lives with her historian husband and a coon cat named Cleo in an 1860s farmhouse stacked to the ceiling with books. In a life full of adventures, she has scaled mountains, chased sheep, and been abandoned on an island for longer than she wants to remember.

An award-winning author who loves mentoring writers, Joan blends her love of history, and romance into historical novels about women who shouldn’t be forgotten and into romantic thrillers under the pen name, Zara West. She is the author of the award-winning romantic suspense series The Skin Quartet and the top-selling Write for Success series.

Joan blogs at, Women Words and Wisdom, American Civil War Voice, Zara West Romance, and Zara West’s Journal and has taught numerous online writing courses.

Social Media Links:


Unknown member
Dec 15, 2021

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Unknown member
Dec 30, 2020

Sounds interesting! Thanks for sharing!


Roni Denholtz
Roni Denholtz
Dec 30, 2020

I just read this book and found it helpful!


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Dec 30, 2020

Thank you, Joan, for sharing your book in our Best Books of 2020 Bookish Event!

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