Saturday, August 4, 2012

Another SCBWIPA Poconos Post- Revision

"Because revision is actually the best part."

Finally another SCBWIPA Poconos post! I think I have one or two more after this one (I have to break down my notes and see how they fall as individual post-age.) I just have to keep reminding myself that posting my memories and notes from a conference back in April(!) helps to refresh my memories of all that I learned that weekend. It's so easy to go to a conference, learn so much, get fired up... and then, a few weeks later, go back to status quo. These posts are my occasional reminders that I really need to put these tips into practice.

Also, a quick update! Remember that writing prompt exercise from my recap of this workshop? 12K in and it's been the anchor for the MC in the contemporary I'm working on right now. I discovered an aspect of my MC's voice that I hadn't known. Even better, I still smile while working on passages for this character. So, try goofy writing prompts. You never know what you might get.
Back to today's post. If you haven't guessed from my title or my picture (SQUEE!!), I'm recapping Laurie Halse Anderson's workshop on Revision.

 "Revision is taking the earlier explosion of inspiration and crafting it so that the reader can see the same world."
I not only signed up for this workshop because L.H.A. is a wealth of writing knowledge, but because *whispers the next part* revision makes me cringe. Especially the first of three truths about revision that she presented to us:
  • (first): Everything is on the table for potential change. Everything is on the table for a potential cut- even the main character.
    • Uhm, whoa. LHA was kidding, right? My beloved MC? You should have seen the looks we gave her on that one. But if the story is better suited for a different narrator, well... we need to be open to that change.
  • It doesn't matter if it really happened. All that matters is that you write the story that serves the purposes of the story you're trying to tell.
and, finally:
  • You can always make it better.
And then, when she was done, we all went up to her and sobbed all over her. Even those of us who said we'd never cry. And Laurie wrote that wonderful note in my copy of Wintergirls.  I'm still wary about the "best part" thing, but I have to admit I enjoyed this workshop and loved my last round of revisions on "D." It wasn't like the painful, plodding first fourish passes through the MS. Instead, it felt like I was infusing magic into the story.

Maybe Laurie Halse Anderson is right. Maybe ;)


  1. I'm so glad you're sharing what you learned! This overview of revision is really helpful.

    1. I'm glad you like it! This was a great workshop :)