a pattern of constant revising

Apparently on a little F. Scott Fitzgerald kick…

The first novel he submitted to Charles Scribner’s Sons was rejected.

Erika Willett writes, “Beginning a pattern of constant revising that would characterize his writing style for the rest of his career, Fitzgerald decided to rewrite The Romantic Egoist and resubmit it for publication.”img_1926

It was rejected again.  He revised it again.  It was accepted. He was 23.

This Side of Paradise would be published a year later.

In a journal kept by a woman staying at the Grove Park Inn, in Asheville, NC, where Fitzgerald was also staying, his notes to her on his method of revision can be found.   (More about this in “A Summer with F. Scott Fitzgerald” in the December 1964 issue of Esquire). He said,

“Three revisions are absolutely necessary.

First, the first draft, the inspirational points.

Second, the cold going over.

Third, putting both in their proper balance.”

I can certainly relate to a pattern of constant revising. Who doesn’t revise? Isn’t that how we all write? I mean, we write and then we revise.  We write and then we revise.  A pattern of constant revising.  Is this a bad thing?  Does it make the writing too tight?  Too controlled?

Contrast with this pattern the writing in blog posts–not so much revising.


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