Benefits of Review

By Katie Corbett

There is value in going back and reviewing things you have made earlier in your life. I have had a novel in the works since 2009. Yesterday, I took some time between doing a load of dishes and preparing for Thanksgiving to read over that very first draft ever. Needless to say, my writing has improved a lot since then. But I did learn several valuable lessons from that experience.


I learned that reading my old writing could be enjoyable. I compared it to looking at baby pictures: sort of cute, slightly embarrassing, and I’m definitely grateful no one else will read that book.


It was fun to see how much my writing has improved since then. I have gotten much better at dialogue, more readily able to show instead of tell, and my plot points have gotten tighter.


Even though that first draft is basically garbage, I know that my novel wouldn’t be what it is today without that writing. I needed to write to figure out who my characters are, what kinds of things they would do, and how they would interact with each other. That first draft definitely helped me flesh out a lot of those points.


Have you taken the time to go back and look at previous work? What insights did you gain from the experience? Can you think of ways in which that previous work has impacted you now? I would love to know, so feel free to leave me a comment.


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