Michaeline: New Year, New Writer — Revision

Revision is not what I thought it was.

It's about taking a look at the deep structure.

It’s about taking a look at the deep structure.

When I started the romance writing program at McDaniel College, I thought I had a basic grasp of what it took to write a novel. I had several thousand words, all lined up in a way that made a crazy sort of sense, and I fondly thought that it would be a matter of cutting a few plot threads here, tying up a few lines there, and polishing the words that I had chosen in a NaNo rush.

I wasn’t thinking revision – I was thinking proof-reading.

The biggest thing I learned is that story is only loosely related to the words on the page — at least in a first draft. I know that sounds bizarre, but what I mean is that the story can be told with a million different word choices. It can be told with these characters or those characters. Point of view, tone of voice, time, date and place . . . all are choices that can be made to tell the story. And of course, some choices work better than others. But there are many good choices out there. Words convey those choices, but they aren’t the whole story.

It just about killed me that I had to Continue reading

Kay: What do characters want?

Wizard of OzI’ve been thinking about personal goals and how they give us something to aim for. My goals are to work harder physically and improve my health, and to write more and better, and do it faster. I have been both working harder and writing more, too, so I guess I’ve been fulfilling my personal goals at least to a certain degree. Continue reading

Kay: Setting Goals

Victorian_woman_at_writing_desk-228x221I’ve been thinking about goals a lot lately. Goals express our desires, both public and private. They give us something to aim for. Meeting them—or almost meeting them—helps us measure progress and even redefine what we want.

In the last month I’ve been measuring goals in the context of my recovery from surgery. Continue reading