Episode 393: The Craft of Revision – Interview with William Germano

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing William Germano. We’ll be talking about On Revision: The Only Writing That Counts.

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In this episode William Germano and I discuss:

  • When you should start from scratch and why it’s a great technique for your writing.
  • What skill all writers need to master and how it will improve your writing and revising.
  • Why he believes that if something is worth writing, it’s worth revising as well.

Plus, his #1 tip for writers.

About William Germano

William Germano is professor of English at Cooper Union, where he served as dean of the faculty of humanities and social sciences for more than a decade. During an earlier career in publishing, he served as editor-in-chief at Columbia University Press and as vice-president and editorial director at Routledge. 

His previous books include two in this Chicago series: Getting It Published: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious about Serious Books (third edition, 2016) and From Dissertation to Book (second edition, 2013). He has also written Eye Chart, a book about how we test vision, for Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons series (2017), and The Tales of Hoffmann, a study of Powell and Pressburger’s 1951 opera film, published by the BFI (2013).  

Most recently he has co-authored, with Kit Nicholls, Syllabus: The Remarkable, Unremarkable Document That Changes Everything (Princeton UP, 2020).

You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

On Revision: The Only Writing That Counts

A trusted editor turns his attention to the most important part of writing: revision.

So you’ve just finished writing something? Congratulations! Now revise it. Because revision is about getting from good to better, and it’s only finished when you decide to stop. But where to begin? In On Revision, William Germano shows authors how to take on the most critical stage of writing anything: rewriting it.

For more than twenty years, thousands of writers have turned to Germano for his insider’s take on navigating the world of publishing. A professor, author, and veteran of the book industry, Germano knows what editors want and what writers need to know: Revising is not just correcting typos. Revising is about listening and seeing again. Revising is a rethinking of the principles from the ground up to understand why the writer is doing something, why they’re going somewhere, and why they’re taking the reader along with them.

On Revision steps back to take in the big picture, showing authors how to hear their own writing voice and how to reread their work as if they didn’t write it. On Revision will show you how to know when your writing is actually done—and, until it is, what you need to do to get it there.

Additional Info:

Why is revising writing such a challenge?

What does it mean to you to have a philosophy of revising? of writing? 

How do you know when a piece of writing is finished? 

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Link to Episode 393

(Right-click to download.)

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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!

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