The Art of Revision
“Pick a different word,” she wrote
“This word appears 44 times in this manuscript.
Use your thesaurus.”
So I change pain to anguish or misery
Substitute torment for suffering
Replace anger with outrage
Switch adore for love
Editing is about changing
yet saying the same
De Jackson is calling for some change dVerse Poets Pubfor the first Quadrille Monday of the year at . With editing on my mind—having just yesterday finished addressing my freelance editor’s comments to my memoir manuscript—I thought this was a perfect Quadrille word. Head on over to dVerse to see what other changes are happening.
Interesting application of the theme. Sometimes I deliberately repeat a word, especially in two adjoining lines, for emphasis, and often in two different contexts. But as a rule, I suppose “variety is the spice of life.” 🙂
It’s a balancing act, I suppose.
Ah the joys of editing, I love your take on the prompt Linda xxx
Thank you for the chuckle with my morning coffee. I especially love your image choice. Something is afoot, a pied a terre, en pointe here.
Glad I could cause a little mirth in your day.
An interesting take on the prompt, Linda. I’ve loved my thesaurus since I received it as a Christmas present from my mother when I was at school. Your final lines are so true!
I do love the Thesaurus, too!
Good observation about editing.
absolutely clever poem here – and definitely a building blocks lesson! well done – and points noted and taken –
loved the fresh perspective for this quadrille – it crosses over beyond just being a 44 snippet!
Thanks. Glad you liked it.
Haha. I like this take on the prompt. Well done.
Oh, YES! You have captured the agony of changing
Thank goodness for the “Find” feature in Word!
Gorgeously written, Linda!! ❤❤❤
I like what you did Linda. Great attitude towards life.
Ha! Love it!
Sometimes while reviewing older poetry, I’ll find favorite phrases and words that leap up like mushrooms after a rain.
Some of my favorite poems have become pieces of prose in my memoir. One in particular, called A Betrayal of Roses, fit so perfectly in the scene I was writing. But then my editor said I repeated “roses” too many times for prose. Harumph.
Love how you got your point across – an excellent remodeling!
Thanks. 🙂 This was a fun Quadrille — as if there’s such a thing as a not-fun Quadrille. But this one was extra fun.
I love the way you used the prompt.
What a perky little poem, filled with truth … truisms … verity … oh well!
🙂 That is an accurate description.
Seems true in human beings as well Linda. Sometimes all the editing in the world only leaves them the same… which might be as it should!
““This word appears 44 times in this manuscript.” — very subtle, love it. I think we all live in Thesaurus.com, it was great to see that as your image.
And did you note the word I entered into the Thesaurus? Hmm? 😉
Double points! Didn’t notice that!
It’s funny, but there’s a shadow underneath it. Love that word exchange stanza. Great take on the prompt.
Clever take on the prompt!
My favorite editor’s note to me: “It’s bad enough that you end so many sentences with a preposition, but when you ended this sentence with two prepositions, I wanted to bark all over your manuscript.”
It helps to have a sense of humor and a thick skin if you’re a writer.
Thankfully my editor’s critical feedback was balanced with the comments on language she found beautiful and “perfect!” Maybe not a perfect balance, but enough to help me make it through.
By the way, I can’t wait for you to get to read it. I’m quite happy with how it’s shaping up.
That’s a nifty take on the prompt … sometimes the easy-go-to word doesn’t really capture the raft of options out there .. if you can lay your hand too them!
It was painful, though helpful, to have someone else point them all out to me. 😉
I’m constantly going back to poems I wrote weeks or years ago and finding repeated words..and changing, changing.
In poetry, and even in prose, I think repeated words can sometimes be good for emphasis. But there are limits, and I crossed those limits a lot in my memoir manuscript. 😉
I agree. But in a short poem, unless for effect, repetition seems like laziness. There are certain innocuous words I use again and again… like filler words to flesh out meter…that I also have to cull out.
I might print this out and tag it to my wall. Fantastic use of the prompt by the way. I love that sudden change in the last line of the second stanza. Anger, anguish, torment, then love. It works beautifully.
Thank you! That is quite a compliment, to be printed out and tagged to a wall. 🙂
Update. You are now printed and on the wall. Well the notice board, but that is on the wall and in very plain sight.
Yes it is – a poem everyone us can no doubt relate to.
It’s a fair point though. Especially if the word is ‘smirk’ or ‘chuckle’. I could think of others 🙂
Ha.. love it… no big fan of editing myself… but it has to be done.
Once I got feedback, another perspective, I actually enjoyed the editing.
How perfect! I love your nod to the “44 times.” 😉 A fun Quadrille, Linda.
Thanks. I think it was actually 47 times with one word, and “too many for Word to preview” on another. But yes, I chose 44 for a reason. 🙂
This brought up a memory – a teacher once told me never overuse a word, find another way to say what you mean. Change, Change and change..
It has stuck with me many years later.