Since Sarah started it, I'm happy to continue the discussion about REVISION. (Somehow, it merits all caps.)
I am deep into revisions right now and it seems the more I write, the more I cut. And the characters and story get stronger the more I carve away from them. The funny thing is, whenever I cut entire pages or multiple paragraphs from a chapter, replacing them with one or two sentences, the Slushies always comment about how they like that I've included MORE description or explaination or history in this version of the chapter.
I look back at the earlier version and find that yes, indeed, I have taken three paragraphs and reduced them to one sentence, and lo and behold, my critiquers tell me I've added something.
What that tells me is that I've clarified. I've eliminated what doesn't need to be there and reduced the important stuff to its very essence. It tells me that my writing is getting better.
Good, because I don't know how many more revisions I can do. This is tough stuff.