Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Vision/Revision

Last winter, I began working on my first piece of long-form prose, and it has been a challenging experience. I am used to working with poetry, about a page to a page and a half in length, the entire body at once visible to the eye. In fact, this piece evolved from a series of poems that never quite worked--poems that needed a story. After the first few drafts, when it began to swell to 50+ pages, I became overwhelmed.



I have decided against, for the time being, going for an MFA, so seeking out articles and blogs about publishing and the craft of writing have been really important for my development as a writer.  Recently I stumbled across an essay about young adult fiction, which I do not write, but a few paragraphs in I discovered a wonderful list of tools and techniques the author learned in her MFA program. One tip was titled Arts and Crafts Revision:

One of my favorite classes from grad school was all about revision. In one particular class, we were all instructed to bring scissors, tape, and highlighters; then we cut our stories into scenes, taped them to the wall, and highlighted particular passages or characters or plotlines. Before that, my approach to revision was way more like line editing. Now I love physically attacking a draft.

This technique has really helped me move on to my next draft.

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