Thursday, June 10, 2010

Making Revisions With A Little Help

Yesterday, I wrote that I'd been procrastinating in a big way. I had a couple stories that needed revsising before I could send them to a state authors contest. One of the reasons I'd been putting this off on one of the stories was that I wasn't sure what to do with it. I'd even sent it through a critique session at writersandcritters so had many suggestiions from those who'd looked at it. Still, the whole thing left me feeling a bit hopeless.

Stubborn Irish determination ruled yesterday, and late in the afternoon I sat down at the computer, flexed my fingers like a concert pianist and began. I started by reading through the story and then checking the suggestions of the people who had critiqued the story weeks ago. Then I started chopping parts out and adding more. Once I started doing that step, the whole thing started coming clear, and I moved on at a rapid pace.

Add more dialgoue had been the suggestion of more than one critiquer. And once I did that, the story came alive. It became more real. It's that old 'showing is better than telling' rule.

Give us more emotion. And again, once I did it in one paragraph, the next one came more easily.

How did your husband react? The story wasn't about him, it involved two others, and he was cast in a minor role. Or so I thought. Upon reading through it again, I could see that his reaction to what was happening proved to be important, and so his role got expanded a little more.

Are you getting the idea that having your work critiqued helps tremendously with revisions? I'm living proof that it does. By the time evening rolled around, I'd made my revisions and felt satsified with the story. Today, the contest entry envelope will be mailed with 8 entries, this one included. Winners won't be announced until October. It's a long wait so it's time to push it to the back of my mind and start writing a new story.

And the second story that needed revisions? It's waiting in the wings. It needs major surgery, and there's not enough time left to do it justice.

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