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Use this revising strategy to make your writing flow

Q: What strategies do you use during the revision process?

A: Mike Kennamer: “Before I send the article to an editor, I always read it out loud as part of the editing process. I also try to get colleagues to read it and provide input before I send it off to the editor.

When a section just doesn’t seem to flow as I would like, I will print the article and (literally, with scissors) cut out each paragraph and lay it on the floor in the order that it is in for the article. Then I will start to move certain paragraphs around to see if that helps with flow. I use the floor because it gets me out of the normal place where I write. There is something about sitting on the floor with my work in little paragraph-sized slips of paper that helps me to see it in a different way. As I pull sections together I tape them to each other when I am satisfied that they are in the right order. Once I have completed this exercise I use the taped together pieces of the article to remind me where to cut and paste within the word processor, adding transitions and segues as needed. Once this is done I read it aloud again to see if the flow is improved.

So if you ever walk in and see me sitting on the floor with small pieces of paper surrounding me you will know that I am deep within the editing and revision process.”

Mike KennamerMike Kennamer is Director of Workforce Development at Northeast Alabama Community College and President/CEO of Kennamer Media Group, Inc., a company that provides written and photographic resources in a variety of formats. He has written a number of textbooks, workbooks, instructor resource materials, video scripts, and online content in the health and public safety fields, and has had several articles published in higher education journals. He also serves as TAA Council Secretary.