Reading Natalie’s post, Finding My Audience, made me think about revision in a new way. I’ve also done what you’ve mentioned…revising for my critique group, my mother-in-law (great editor, that woman) and soon, my editor. Your post made me think about the need to revise for our readers. It’s definitely important that writers don’t lose sight of building the world of their characters in an authentic way to the readers’ experiences. I believe this happens organically when a writer climbs inside the scene that they are writing, experiencing the conflicts that their characters face, feeling their ever-changing emotions, touching what they touch, smelling the smells of their world. I think this is a higher level of writing, and one that is often achieved only through revision.
I just finished reading an amazing YA, THE RUBY NOTEBOOK, by fellow EMLA writer, Laura Resau. Her book jumped off the page for me, transporting me to France by taking me, as a reader, on a journey of the senses. Laura was in the moment as she wrote this book, and it shows. As I revise, my number one goal isn’t so much to think about my specific audience, but rather to bring the world alive to all of us, to touch the universal pains, joys, and desires that are a part of our experience as humans, regardless of age.