Revising is always one of my favorite parts of the writing process. Granted, I only write short pieces--1,400 words or under, usually--so I'm not like C. Hope Clark (in so many ways). She recently worked on revising her novel, soon to debut, which is gargantuan compared to the reworking I do.
However, there are a couple of things I've discovered--one because of my daytime job, and one accidentally.
When it comes to editing, there is no better strategy than reading your work out loud to yourself. The brain is a wondrous thing. If there is a word that's left out and you read it silently, your brain will slip it in, unbeknownst to you, but it will only get set into the mental version. It will remain absent on paper. If you scan your writing without hearing it spoken, you might not catch the unwanted repetition, the awkward rhythm, the screwed-up tenses.
(I expect my third graders to make their writing make sense. They are held accountable if they leave out a word because their mouth works just as well as mine, so when I grade their work, I read it quietly to myself.)
A few years ago I participated in a writing retreat. Technologically, I am an idiot, so I brought along my husband's laptop, and a hard copy of the piece I was working on. Since I did not have the story on a flashdrive or in a file, and since I needed to have it saved some way so I could revise it during the weekend, I ended up typing it over, word by word.
When you are typing up something from a hard copy, you have to pay attention to every word, every bit of white space and every punctuation mark. You're seeing it with new eyes, revising as you go, and rethinking the choices you made. This works so well for me that often, when I have the time, I will choose to not send a piece to my work email, even though I know I will be working on revising it after-school hours. The simple, methodical process of retyping it works for me.
What are some "backward" methods that work for you? What are some throwback strategies that you rely on? Inquiring minds want to know...